Honest and good people often find themselves in situations that are very stressful if they are too quick to accept doing favors. I understand and value the whole principle of living to make people’s life better, but it’s very easy to derail from your own track and even sabotage yourself just because you said “yes” way too many times.
This is a lesson I had to learn too a couple of years ago. At some point I was some kind of fireman, putting fires out for everyone. If a friend or member of the family needed something, they came to me, and I used to drop almost everything to help them out. What was the result of doing that for a long time? Well, I noticed two things that happened.
RESPECT IS THE FIRST STEP
First, I noticed that people didn’t respect my time at all. And why would they, if I didn’t respect my time? I had a case at some point when I’ve been literally woke up in the middle of the night just because they wanted to say something and they felt it was urgent. The second and more important effect was that I started to lose track on my life and what I was trying to accomplish. By being so busy and distracted by everyone’s agenda, there was no one to take care of mine.
That was a big problem because I started to feel frustrated and unfulfilled, and then I felt used by those around me and it was a downward spiral. Then I learned the cure: learning to say “no”. It’s really life-changing. When you start to say “no” as a default response, you start to remove any unnecessary obligations that you would normally have by being too nice. When it comes to your time, it is such a thing like being too nice.
TURN YOUR DREAMS INTO A REALITY
Think about it this way. You have your own mission, your own dream to make a reality, and also your closest ones that need your attention and support. When you are giving away freely from your time, you are giving away from yourself and your loved ones as well. I truly believe that those closest to you deserve the most attention you have. Even if we talk about a significant other or just your parents, they need you to be there for them.
The people that you usually serve with your profession also need you to be at your best. The goals that need you to make them real also need you at your highest productive level. Saying “yes” is a productivity diminisher. I used to believe that being nice and accepting to do all kinds of small favours was something noble, worth living for. I found it’s the opposite. Let me explain why your small favours are in fact not only damaging your life and the life of those closest to you, but it also damages the life of those you think you help.
DON’T LET YOUR KINDNESS BE YOUR WEAKNESS
When you become a fireman(or firewoman) and you put out all of these small fires that everyone else throws at you, you are showing an example of weakness.
– First of all, is your weakness of not saying “no” when you know you should.
– Second, you fuel the weakness in the ones that bring the emergencies to you, making them believe that they are not able to deal with it by themselves. It’s like a mother feeding their babes mouth to mouth all their life, without teaching them how to feed themselves.
Therefore, this is why saying “no” is a life changer. You gain your time back to take care of your business and goals, and enjoy precious moments with the ones that you love. Time is precious, don’t throw it away for fake fires. And also, you encourage people to deal with issues themselves and become problem-solvers. You become an example of a strong person that values their time and the time of other people, and also a person that can deal with situations independently. That is true helping in my book.