“Yes, I’d be glad to” is often a sentence we say way too quickly! Everyone wants to be helpful, to be a team-player, and be seen as a leader; there’s nothing wrong with any of those motivations. However, is our “yes” actually helpful or necessary? Is our “yes” the right thing for our family, our schedule, and our physical/emotional bandwidth?
In my early college years, with a solid school schedule, I found it challenging to navigate my studies, my social life, my work life, and my church involvement. I found myself overwhelmed with the people and involvements I had said “yes” to. Wanting to be liked, wanting to be seen as helpful, wanting to be sure I wasn’t left out, caused me to become fatigued. I felt like I couldn’t keep up with the demands. I got behind in my studies, and I began to resent the very people and opportunities I had said “yes” to! I needed someone to give me permission to say “no”!
As a young Pastor’s wife I felt that my role was to make myself available to anyone in need and so I found myself counseling, encouraging, visiting, and meeting the needs of many, many women. If I said “No” they would be hurt. If I said “No’ they wouldn’t see my behaviour as “Christian’, I might even risk being disliked. Though there were many sweet and meaningful connections over the years I can be real honest and say that I needed to balance my willingness to say “yes”. I wasn’t able to fix every situation, I wasn’t always equipped to offer the council that was needed, and sometimes the situation would have been better served by someone else. I needed to choose my yes’ with greater wisdom.
Perhaps you find yourself challenged in navigating WHAT or WHO to say “yes” to. Perhaps you find yourself trying to rescue situations and people using time and energy that you truly do not have. Give yourself permission to set a pause-button between being asked and saying “yes”. Make your choices based a fresh filter:
2. Should I?
3. Is this someone else’s responsibility?
4. What other commitments will suffer if I do?
5. What is my motivation to say “yes”?
There are many wonderful and meaningful people/situations to say a confident “yes” to! We are called and gifted to have great impact on the lives and opportunities all around us. However, if you find yourself overwhelmed, stressed, resentful, feeling used, or just simply tired due to all you have committed to; give yourself permission to take a good look at your commitments and make the needed changes! 🙂
Overcommitment – To promise, undertake, or allocate more than the available resources justify. To bind or obligate oneself beyond the capacity for realization.