How do you know when it’s time to move on? Or to say no to something that you’ve previously said yes to?
Are you a “Yes” Person?
If you find yourself with many interests, often overwhelmed and with responsibilities running you ragged, chances are you’re a ‘yes” person. You’re overwhelmed by the weight of responsibilities that come with so many commitments. People assume they can count on you to fill needs that arise.
I am a recovering “yes” person. My default is to take on as much as possible which eventually leads to burnout. This season of shutdown is teaching me the value of slowing down. I have put into practice saying “no” to create room for stillness. To say “no” to good things that make way for growth toward greater opportunities. To purposefully pursue my potential in ways simple busyness wouldn’t allow space for.
I recently learned of a word that encapsulates the reason for my overwhelm. The term “multipotentialite” resonates deeply. I, and perhaps you, wrestle with deciphering how best to expend our daily energy with so many passions vying for our “yeses.”
If we don’t allow space in our lives, there will be no room for meaningful growth.
Are you a “No” Person?
You know what you like and prefer less structure in your days. You’re not afraid to say “no” to protect a flexible schedule. Perhaps you appreciate that people don’t ask for your help very often. You highly prize the ability to practice spontaneity. You have great clarity about when it’s time to move on and refocus your energy.
Whether you default to “yes” or to “no” it’s important to understand both of these mindsets and how you can apply healthy practices in different seasons of life.
Sometimes change is gradual. Other times it’s forced upon us and we’re taken by surprise. We must make a choice based on the hand we’re dealt. A company layoff or takeover, a program with funding that isn’t renewed, a betrayal of a friend turned foe or the loss of someone close. Sometimes sudden. Other times gradual and almost unnoticed until you’re forced to create rhythms in the midst of your new reality.
What seems like a setback creates the opportunity to try new things. Perhaps to say “no” while you get your bearings. Until it’s time to move on. Or to experience different opportunities one at a time without a long-term commitment. The country legend Kenny Rogers, famous lyrics: “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em” goes beyond gambling. For everything there is a season. You won’t win every time but each opportunity whether taken or not will provide priceless lessons and character development opportunities.
Your Personal Life
- What are your daily routines? Can you create more efficient ways to get ready each day?
- What’s the first thing you do upon waking? Is it a race to the bathroom out of bodily necessity? Or perhaps you’ve picked up the stress-inducing habit of checking your device’s alerts before your feet hit the floor? Can you consider whispering a prayer before grabbing your handheld tech or perhaps take a beat to note what you’re grateful for as you rise to take on the world?
- How do you decompress at the end of each day? Are you consuming content that fills you with hope or simply giving in to numbing out?
- What obligations occupy your waking hours?
- What hobbies do you have or need to make room to pursue as part of your daily rhythms?
- Are you responsible for humans or pets? Can you delegate responsibilities to others in your household, or set up auto-feeders for fur kiddos?
- Do you like routines or take any opportunity to grow in new directions and gain knowledge?
I must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world.Lysa TerKheurst
- Have you taken time to look back over your life thus far? What does the trajectory of your studies and vocational profile tell you?
- Do your passions lend themselves to advancing your calling? Or do you prefer to simply collect a paycheck and save your creativity for extracurricular pursuits?
- What responsibilities have been fulfilling? What has felt burdensome?
- Who do you know who can help you test the waters on potential next right steps? Who can you be that mentor for in order to pay it forward to the next generation?
Don’t stay stuck
Boredom. Overwhelm. Surviving Monday through Friday and living for the weekends traps us in the wrong mindset. Fight complacency. Mediocrity is the middle ground but doesn’t fulfill us. So where do we land?
My answer is to work at something as long as there’s room to grow. To remain engaged. But also to be open to opportunities beyond my current circumstances. Striking that balance requires intentionality. But it’s worth the process to keep growing toward the best version of yourself. To define and refine your potential periodically as the seasons of life shift. If you’re showing up to do the work, you’ll know when it’s time to move on.
I want to passionately build bridges and help others invest in their own success. What is your definition of success? What makes you come alive each day? And what ideas or activities foster passion that propels you forward?
What can you say “no” to today in order to create space to step into the next “yes?”
If you’re feeling restless with routine you might want to dig a bit deeper into the concept of multipotentiality:
For more thoughts on choosing the right path check out my article: