I am a habitual stress case. When I quit my full time teaching job I thought I would calm down a little but what I discovered was that I was so used to being stressed, I didn’t know how to chill out. I found so many things to fill my time. I made these to-do lists and would practically have a melt down if I didn’t accomplish everything. I had to take immediate action so as not to waste this season of my life on stress.
One of the things I have been practicing as a means to calm down is the art of saying “no”. As a person who likes to please, this scary two-letter word does not come easy for me. But the more I practice, the more natural it feels and the less I throw myself into things that I really don’t want to do.
The truth is, if I’m taking on too much stuff that doesn’t really fire me up, the stuff that does fire me up is going to suffer. This does a disservice to me as well as the people around me. Heaven knows we don’t need more busy, stressed out people. We need people who are throwing themselves full force into what makes them come alive.
What activity can you do for hours upon hours with no pay? When you wake up in the morning, what do you want to do? What excites you? I’ve been thinking about these questions a lot lately and coming to some pretty amazing realizations about myself and how I spend my time.
I recently watched a little video by Derek Sivers, author of “Anything You Want.” In the video, he argues that if you can’t say, “Hell yeah!” to a request, invitation, etc. then you should be saying, “No.” This frees you up to put all of your heart into the things that make you say, “Hell yeah!”
Watch the video. Start saying “No” to things that don’t make your heart jump and say, “Hell yeah!” to the things that do!