Carma Baughman

I sat in the parking lot right before going to class for the evening. I had just hung up with a good friend who was spending time with family for the evening. I envied her.

I wanted to have time to be with family. I wanted more time to do what I enjoyed doing.

Instead I was working full time during the day, and going to 4 hour class sessions in the evening. Monday thru Thursday. My days were full. On Friday I worked but didn’t have classes in the evening.

Yet, as I sat in the car and pondered the desire to be with family vs going to class that evening, I knew I needed to go to class.

I was saying ‘Yes’ to class and ‘No to family time – for that moment, for that season.

I knew when that season was over, I’d be able to say ‘yes’ more to family time than I was ever able to do in the past. I was working towards a career that allowed me to be more flexible with my time.

The temporal inconvenience was helping me towards a more permanent altruistic solution – one that aligned better with how I really wanted to spend my time.

I was learning to say No to certain things so that I could say Yes to other more long-term, better-aligned goals.

I reminded myself I wasn’t only saying ‘No’ at that moment, I was also saying ‘Yes’. Yes to living life by my unique design.

Too often we feel bad when we say No. Or, when we say Yes, we don’t fully consider what we are saying No to. I challenge you to consider both sides when making a decision.

Whenever we say ‘no’ to something, we are saying ‘yes’ to something else. And, the same is true when we say ‘yes’, we are saying ‘no’ to other things.

When we say ‘yes’ to please others, we may be saying ‘no’ to our long-term goals.

When we say ‘yes’ to spending money now, we are saying ‘no’ to saving money for that class or that trip or that house…

Too often, we have a hard time saying no. It helps to realize when we say ‘no’ to something, we are also saying ‘yes’. It helped me to realize this, especially since I struggled with disappointing others when I said ‘no’. I didn’t want to let them down. Yet, by saying No, I was able to say Yes to what my priorities are. And, in the long run, likely help more people because I was more attuned to my unique design.

Here is a short list of what we need to say Yes and No to:

Things we need to say No to
Pleasing others
Short term pleasures that get in the way of …
Energy-draining relationships

Things to say yes to
Advancing our skills
Things to get us closer to how we want to live life
‘Hobby’ time
Time with family and those important to us

Next time you are making a decision, consider what you are saying ‘Yes’ to and what you are saying ‘no’ to.

It’s not a Yes or No.

It is always a Yes and No.