Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Saying No to Over-Commitments

Growing up I heard, say no to drugs, drinking and driving, and remember, no means no. Yet I grew up and started saying yes. "Yes, I'll host this event."  "Yes, I can volunteer to teach." "Yes, I can bake the cookies." Yes, yes, yes! Commitment after commitment was leading me down the road of exhaustion.

I tend to be one of those people that bites off more than I can chew. One commitment after the other leads to long sleepless nights, trying to accomplish too much. After one season of being sick at least once a month and trying to be everywhere and do everything, I decided it was time for things to change.

I informed Carl that I couldn't keep going like this. He totally understood. The problem was that my husband is the same way! So if I wasn't committing to something, then he was! And you know how that goes... 

One day I started to listen to my conversations with others and I realized I was part of my problem. I heard myself volunteering and offering to commit to things that at the time I knew would be too much. "Yes, I'd love to bake three dozen cookies (even though I don't like to bake)."  I know this doesn't need further explanation because you know what I mean. 

You might be one of those people. We bite off more than we can chew. Then we're miserable about it. Why do we do this to ourselves? Well, I've spent quite some time analyzing myself and my husband and this is what I've come up with.  

I'm a people pleaser. There I said it! Are you? I always default to what the other person wants instead of thinking what will work best in my situation.  

I want to make sure I fulfill my obligation. I never want to do less than my part which leads me to take on more so that I consciously know I'm doing enough.

I operate too much on my emotions. This one gets me into trouble too many times! I love the idea and dive in without praying about it!  

Carl, my husband, on the other hand takes on too much for totally different reasons than I do. If you don't fall into my category, you might fall into his. It's important to know the reasons behind why we do things, especially if we want to change the outcome. 

He likes building things from the ground up. He likes to reinvent the wheel, at least this is what I tell him. Taking on a project that involves creating something from practically nothing draws his attention.

He doesn't want to miss a good opportunity. We have a term for this around here.  FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. Lots of great opportunities come our way but we're learning that we don't need to be part of it all. 

Provides a sense of accomplishment. If Carl takes something on he is going to give it 110%. He will dive in deep and put a lot time and effort into accomplishing the task.

It's important to know the reasons behind why we do things, especially if we want to change the outcome. In this case, we are learning to say no. Its taken many years for us to decide letting go and saying no is what we need to do. Finally after years of over-committing we are taking a step back and saying no to good things to make way for greater things because there's more to life than being busy. Remember what we learned in our younger years and "just say no."

Want to join us? Go ahead and make a list of reasons why you say yes and then pray about the things you need to say no to. 

Do you have a hard time saying no to over-commitments? What are your reasons? 

Linking up to:
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home