Like all people pleasers, I have the classic problem of saying yes to too many things.
The worst it’s ever been was in my junior year of college. I was taking 18 hours of classes, the vice president of an international organization, volunteered at a community service office, waited tables on the weekends, worked part time doing marketing for club sports, and led a bible study of sophomore girls. (When in the world did I have time to study!) It was EXHAUSTING and I had zero time to myself that year. In fact, I remember on the rare evenings when I was home and would watch a TV show or movie with my roommates, I always fell asleep on the floor as soon as it started. I was constantly on the go and constantly tired.
Over winter break I got some much-needed rest and realized I needed more of that in my life, which meant having to say no to something.
In true Rory Gilmore fashion, I made a pro/con list for each item on my plate and decided to quit my job doing the club sports’ marketing. I was worried about how I would make rent without that income, but it all ended up okay. And I was so nervous telling and disappointing my supervisor, but it turns out I had plenty of classmates who were interested in that position, who had more time to devote to it. I am always replaceable in my job. A huge relief was lifted off my shoulders and for the first time in months I felt free and in control of my schedule.
Looking back I probably should have cut out two or three more things, but at the time saying no to anything at all was a big huge deal. Since then I’ve slowly been adopting more free time into my schedule, and am learning to listen to my gut as an indicator of whether or not I should be pursuing something.
Since then, I have developed a better way of judging to what I need to say yes and no. My intuition is a pretty good indicator of whether or not I should pursue something, and I’ve gotten a lot better at listening to it when I’m at a crossroads. It’s still really hard for me to say no to things, but I know in the end I am a happier, more giving person if I have margin in my day to relax, exercise or the free time to say yes if a drop-of-the-hat invitation comes along.
Do you have this problem? Have you ever over-committed to too many things? Is there something hanging over your life that you need to get rid of?
PS – Shoes are from Minx Asheville.