Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

How do I decide what to say yes to?

How do you decide what to say yes to?

How do you decide what to say yes to?

How do our values inform or underline our decision making, and help us decide our priorities?

Let me ask you another question:

How do you decide what to say ‘yes’ to and what to say ‘no’ to?

And have you ever been in the situation where you find yourself over committed, over tired, and over frazzled because you have said ‘yes’ to too many things, without thinking through the implications? Whenever we say ‘yes’ to something, we are saying ‘no’ to something else. It can be as trivial as saying ‘yes’ to a lengthy conversation with a well meaning sales person on the doorstep and therefore saying ‘no’ to 10 minutes peace with a cup of tea. Or it can be more complex like saying ‘yes’ to a long and involved phone conversation with a needy friend and therefore effectively saying ‘no’ to helping out one of your children with their homework.

Now I realise none of this is straightforward, and our responses will vary depending on the situation, the time available, our energy levels – to name a few. But this raises an important implication about understanding our values. When we cannot clearly say what matters to us most – what the guiding principles are by which we choose to live – we are much more likely to live reactively and not proactively:

  • to compromise with dissatisfying results
  • to be reactionary and make decisions in the moment
  • to choose the most convenient option in the short term, without thinking about the longer term implications
  • to choose the least painful option, as a means of avoiding conflict or having to say no to someone
  • to have no clear answer to the request when under pressure.

If our lives and decision making are not in sync with what matters to us most, the result is likely to be dissatisfaction, frustration, weariness, stress.

However, if we are clearly able to define what matters to us most – what our core values are –

  • we are more able to live proactively
  • we can be intentional and thought through in advance of making decisions
  • we are better equipped with a better understanding of the implications of each decision we make.

If we value peace and serenity, saying yes to too many social engagements or commitments is likely to cause us stress and fatigue.

Understanding the importance to us of financial security – and what is at the root of that for us – will impact how we use our money, and whether we will take a decrease in hours or look for a job change.

If family is top of the list of values, it may well be that a friend has a valid and important request on our time, but if at this stage in life, our teenager is facing huge challenges at school and needs our availability and support, we are more able to say a gentle but firm no to our friend.

So, take some time to think through what is most important to you, and what defines and characterises you most – be it creativity or challenge, friendship or frugality, integrity or inspiring others, respect for the environment or responsibility, trust or truth. The list is endless, the issue is boiling it down to what matters most to you.

And then it is possible to literally use this list as a basis for decision making –

How does this situation/request/event allow me to be/use/display ….

If I say ‘yes’ to this, how will it impact …..

How much time am I giving this week to …..

What do my choices this week say about ….

As you go about your life and business this week, take a little time to step back from decisions to ask, how does this line up with what is most important to me? If I say ‘yes’ to this, what am I actually agreeing to, why, and what am I saying ‘no’ to.

Inspired? Encouraged? Get in touch!

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