My favorite word in the English language is probably the word “yes.” I love hearing the word yes. I love using the word yes. I want to live a life full of yeses. Saying yes can be a great thing. It can open up a world of opportunity you otherwise would not experience. It can bring you new relationships, successes, and adventures.
Loving the word “yes” can cause problems, though. It can hinder your success rather than enhance it. It enables my people-pleasing heart, and erases my personal boundaries for worse rather than for better. It overbooks my time and over-stretches me beyond my physical, mental, and emotional capacities. It blurs the order of my priorities because when I say yes to everything, it all becomes important to me. It leads to self-criticism because I realistically cannot accomplish or commit to everything I say yes to.
I’ve been thinking about how to stop saying yes to everything. It’s time to accept that I am not Hermione and I don’t have a time-turner. Ultimately, it comes down to ensuring that I am always thinking about what is important to ME at this point in my life, not about what is important to everyone else. After typing that, I immediately think I am being selfish, but it’s what I need to do. Maybe it’s what you need to do, too. When we take care of ourselves and our needs, we are able to care for others in a greater capacity.
My challenge to myself and to you is to make a short, numbered list of what is most important to you at this time in your life. What you place as your #1 is your non-negotiable priority. Here’s mine:
- My health
- My relationship with the Lord
- Medical School
- My hobbies
Keeping my priorities in mind, I am going to make an effort to stop saying yes to everything. I hope for more simplified days and a greater sense of self. I hope sticking to my priorities will help me feel renewed and ready to give myself to others because I have taken good care of myself.