Are You Over-Yessed?

| Steve Longan

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Think for a moment on a time that you said yes when you know you should have thought twice or examined the question before you jumped in. For most, it won’t take too long to recall a number of circumstances. Today, I want to talk about our ability to say “No” or “Not Now” when we need to, and being okay it.

I believe that one of the largest challenges we have are those two little letters: N – O.  Oh, I get it – it’s not so simple as just saying it, is it? But why isn’t it?


Consider this – maybe we just aren’t thinking about “no” the right way or, likely, much of the time, we’re not thinking about it at all.


Saying “yes” too much causes us to become over-committed, over-worked, over-stressed and well, in the end, just plain over. The reflection that is left is not the shining example we set out to be in the beginning of someone who is generous and investing in others, committed to our family, spouse, career, community, or faith. If we’re honest, what’s left for those who are most important is typically the angry lion(ess) or exhausted mule. Neither are the vision to which we aspire.


I want to leave you all with a few helpful questions and suggestions to take with you that will help keep us from getting “over-yessed.”  First, a few questions:

  • Where have I over-yessed when I should have second-guessed?
  • Why did I say yes?
  • What would have happened had I said no?

A few suggestions to help protect yourself in the future?

  • Safe Sounding Board – Have someone you trust that you run all of your larger or longer-term commitments by.
  • Always sleep on it – twice. Let anyone asking you know that you have a 48- hour rule as it pertains to making long-term commitments.
  • I encourage you to do a little assessment of where you’ve committed yourself and think about saying “no” or “not yet” so that you’re freed up to invest in the way that you were designed.

When you learn to practice thinking before you “Yes,” you’ll be able to invest at a far more meaningful level.   Questions?  We’re here to help!  I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!