It’s a toxic epidemic that has been spreading through work places and cities across the United States. It’s caused increased stress levels and debilitated our ability to defend ourselves from unwanted people, situations, or things. It has made us fat, unhappy, and frustrated. It’s time to stop this growing epidemic and heal ourselves from its harmful effects. The epidemic is the glorification of YES, defined as blindly saying yes to others wants and needs before our own. The great thing is that you already have the cure, it’s a simple two letter anecdote called “NO”.
5 Cures To Stop the Glorification of Yes.
1. Overscheduling your personal time. At a young age we were taught to say yes to be polite and well liked. As an adult we now feel obligated to attend every party, shower, or do anything that anyone asks. The Cure: Stop shaming yourself when you say no. Your personal time is all yours and it is your duty to fill it with things, people, and events that bring you happiness. Give yourself permission to say “NO” and your personal freedom and happiness will grow.
2. Allowing Shitty People To Stay In Your Life. This one is funny to me because for such a long time I bought into this idea that it was important to be liked by everyone! I allowed people to be rude or made exceptions for them because “that’s just who they are” even though it really intruded on my happiness and enjoyment of life. I’m talking about the people that drag you down in life, the naysayers and the Debbie Downers. The ones that are always complaining about life or work in such a way that it drains your energy by being around them. The Cure: Evaluate those around you and create boundaries. If you have people in your life that are toxic, create limitations on the time you spend with them. As people age, people change, it’s okay to let go of relationships that no longer serve you. Ensure you’re surrounding yourself with people that bring you up and not down. There’s truth to the expression “birds of a feather flock together.” Give yourself the freedom to fly with a different flock.
3. Taking On Other People’s Dreams and Expectations. We are very fortunate to have people in our lives that care about us and are invested in our future. The common mistake we make is that because these people generously share their opinions and give us advice on what we “should” do (puke, I hate the word should, it only invokes guilt), we think they are right. It’s like a mental checkout, we blindly follow their words forgetting that our life is ours for the making. Why because we “should” ourselves into believing that their way is the right way and that if we don’t adhere to their advice we will let them down or fail. The Cure: Start asking yourself what you want to do, create your dream list. Designate a few point people in your life to take advice from while still empowering your own veto power. There are so many voices in our daily lives that it’s important to create boundaries so we’re not overwhelmed by the things everyone says we “should” be doing.
4. Being the office heroine. This was me for almost a decade. I was the one that so badly wanted to be accepted, well liked, and to be seen as the shining star. I would take on almost any menial task to show others that I was flexible and a team player. The workload added more stress and as time went on I realized it was getting me nowhere. Why? Because the people getting promoted were more strategic with their time. They evaluated what the project or task would do for them and how it connected to their long term goals. The Cure: Be selective. Just because someone at work asks you to do something does not mean you have to. With the extra time gained by not taking on the little projects, create your own personal development goal that will help develop your skillset or business knowledge. Another option to fill your time is to find a mentor. Use the extra time to shadow someone you respect so you can learn more about what it takes to be successful and apply the learnings to your career.
5. Eating and Drinking. Short and sweet. If you’re trying to be healthy, you have every right to turn down a happy hour, a drink or an extra piece of cake. The Cure: Start saying “No” to the events or foods that don’t support your health goals. It’s your body, treat it right!
Denver based Career & Life Coach for young professional women, Motivational Speaker