When to Say “Yes!”” and When to Say “No!”

In life, we are faced with so many choices. Now, more than ever, we are bombarded with ways to spend our time and things to take up our attention. It’s hard to say “no” when there are so many directions we’re being pulled in. But if we don’t learn to say “yes” or “no” to the right things, we cannot live our best life. So here are just a few things you should say “yes” or “no” to:

Say “no!” to things that drag you down.

It’s important to put boundaries in place to keep you from going crazy. Sometimes in life we have to say “no” to things that seem good, because too much of any good thing drags us down. Busyness is far too glorified in our culture. We wear busyness as a badge of honour, when really it’s something we should be trying to eliminate in our lives.

Say “yes!” to things that feed your soul.

While you’re working on cutting out the busyness of your life, try adding rest. Read more books. Go on a walk. Listen to music. Create a rhythm in your life that includes rest. The concept of sabbath is so foreign to our go-go-go culture. Taking one day a week to reset is something you should definitely say “yes” to.

Say “no!” to things that distract you.

Now this one is hard for me, because I love technology, but sometimes, you just have to put it down. You have to put down your phone to have a real conversation with the person right in front of you. You have to turn on do not disturb when you need to hear yourself think. Stop the mindless scrolling and replace it with something mindful.

Say “yes!” to things that scare you.

If you’ve been dreaming about something, but it scares you, it’s probably worth doing. If you know in your heart that there is something you want to do, but you’re avoiding it because of fear, you need to push fear to the side and go for it! The reality is, you’ll probably fail… many times. But failure is a part of life. It’s the part that can either destroy you or grow you, depending on how you respond. It can teach you the most valuable lessons you’ll ever learn. And when you look at it that way, it’s not so scary right?

Say “no!” to things that discourage you.

Some of the influences around us can be flat out discouraging. Comparison is one of those things that makes us believe we’re not good enough, smart enough, strong enough, fill-in-the-blank enough. Make a conscious decision to say “no” to comparison. Cheer on your friend when they achieve their goals, graduate school, get engaged, get married, have a baby, land a dream job, travel the world or whatever else looks like success to you. Just know that social media mostly comprises our moments of perfection, not the moments of weakness, and everyone you see is facing their own set of challenges in life. It’s easy to set a high standard for ourselves based on comparison, but that only leads to discouragement.

Say “yes!” to things you think you can’t do.

Seriously. Say “yes.” You have so many more resources than you know, all you have to do is look around you and ask. You are stronger than you realize. You are more capable than you can imagine. You can do hard things.

I recently said a huge “yes!” when I stepped out in faith and started working on recording my first album. I didn’t have all the answers to all of the questions in my mind. “What if…?” or “What about…?” I could have stayed stuck in this zone of needing to figure it out all, but instead I said “yes” to the adventure. A few months later and I’m so excited to be releasing this 5 song EP tomorrow.

So go ahead and say “yes!” to something you think you can’t do. You just might surprise yourself.