How To Say No So You Can Say Yes
I’ve been taking the time to read actual books lately. It’s been life-changing. Instead of getting sucked into my phone in the evenings, I’ve been opening up a book. Recently I came across a line in a book that really stuck with me. The line was about “saying no, so that you could say yes”. The author, who is a mother, was talking about how there’s no reason to say yes to everything in life. There’s no reason, as busy moms, that we need to constantly fill up our calendars. Sometimes we just need to say no, so that we can say yes.
Sometimes we need to say no to the weekend “busyness” of birthday parties & get togethers so we can say yes to family time. Or so that we can say yes to a couple of hours of “me time”. We need to say no to certain engagements, so that we can say yes to the engagements that fill our tank and bring us happiness. Recently, I had to say no to three big opportunities so that I could say yes to other things in my life.
The first opportunity was to attend the RewardStyle conference in Dallas. The conference is an invite-only conference, and so many bloggers look forward to the day when they are invited. I also had to miss out on it last year because I was pregnant and so exhausted. I was asked to attend several months ago, when Emma was still so little. Just the thought of leaving her gave me major anxiety. I thought about it for a few days. I agonized about it. I made myself miserable worrying about Emma, and thinking of how I would have to spend the next couple of months getting her to take the bottle. I thought about the fact that I would have to constantly be pumping throughout the event so my boobs wouldn’t turn into rocks. I thought about the anxiety I would feel during the evening when it was her bedtime & instead of being home with her, I would be miles away in Dallas.
I needed to say no, so that I could say yes. I needed to say no, so that I could say yes to anxiety-free days. I didn’t want to sit around and stress about it anymore, and I wanted to move on. Once I said no, it was like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I let out a huge sigh of relief, and instantly felt better. There will be other years to attend this conference, and what is always most important to me is my family. Whenever a decision revolves around my family, I’m always going to choose my family. My family brings me joy, and time with them “fills my tank”. I needed to say no to the conference, so I could say yes to joy.
The next opportunity was crazy awesome. I was invited by a baby brand to go to China for a couple of days. I about freaked out when I saw the email come through. Then I was like…. wait. China for a couple of days? Isn’t the time difference 24 hours? Dang, that would really make life insane with the kids. If they would have tried me a year later it would have been feasible, but right now it is just too much of a commitment. Also, they needed to know ASAP, and I just didn’t feel right leaving Emma yet, & I think they wanted her to come too. I could have made it happen alone, but I didn’t feel right leaving her yet. It also would have set us back a bit on the house projects since Dylan would be here with the kids, and not able to work on the house during those 3 days. Totally sucks I had to pass up that opportunity, so I’m hoping that something like it comes along later! Something about that first year with your baby is just SO important to me. I needed to say no, so I could say yes to this special time with Emma.
The third opportunity was a press trip to LA for a brand that will soon be opening up a store in Austin. The trip sounded amazing, but it’s literally the week before we move into our new house. I haven’t even thought about the packing aspect of this move, and that week will be full of packing, and juggling the kids. I also have a few other brand collaborations that I will be shooting images for and creating content during that week. I needed to say no, so I could say yes to other work I have already committed to. I need to say no, so I didn’t completely over fill my late, and become an anxious mess.
Although all three of these examples are trips, other examples include weekend plans or evening events. Sometimes we need to say no to the “busy-ness” of life so that we can refill our tank with what really matters. For me, that’s quality time at home with my family. I encourage you to take a look at your calendar. If everyday is filled up, think of something that you can take off. Having an empty day on a calendar can do SO much for you. Sometimes we need those “plan-free” days so we can rest & recharge. We have to say no, so we can say yes to our health, our happiness, and our family.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all about seizing opportunities in your career. But there has to be a line drawn somewhere. You’re only one person, and you can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t be at all of the events or take all of the business trips. You have to be okay with saying no, and also trust your gut. These types of opportunities will come around again, and the timing will be right.
Thanks so much for reading today friends. Cheers to having a day with no plans soon (with this crazy house renovation ours might be a few weeks down the road, but I’m highly looking forward to it!).