Monday, October 6, 2008

NeedLess Challenge: Make a Life Priority List

Repeat after me...We cannot be all things to all people.

We cannot be all things to all people, we cannot be all things to all people...keep repeating until you convince yourself of that truth.

I used to live my life for others. Trying to do everything I could for my mom, my sister, my brother, my grandparents, my husband, my kids, my friends, the PTA committee, the homeroom mom, the preschool board, my church, my clients, my MOPS group, my bible study...and on and on and on.

And it all came crashing down last fall. I could no longer do it all and I was in a debilitating depression for months because of it. Over and over in my head I would say, "You are lazy, unorganized, and not good enough."

Why are we so tough on ourselves? I have always expected more from myself than anyone else ever has. Everyone would say. "I don't know how you do it all."...and I would just smile. But inside I was yelling "HELP! I can't do this anymore." Someone save me from myself. I brought it on by saying yes to everything I was asked to do. I thought, "No one else can do it as good as I can."

If this sounds familiar than I encourage you to slowly get out of any commitments that are stealing your joy. And only keep the ones that feed your soul. I know half of you are yelling at your computer screen, "but if we all do that, then nothing will get done." Or "one person will be stuck with it all!" Not likely. The world won't come crashing down, I promise. We are all energized by different things. And so what if we don't have a committee on every single decision or project that needs to be done.

So start saying, "No" without apology. I learned several great ways to say no from a wonderful mom at the MOPS convention. Her name is Julie Barnhill and I love her outlook on life. These are what she suggested...

Thank you for sharing that idea with me, and no.
I hear what you are saying, and no.
I understand that you would really like that, and no.
I hear you, you could be right, and no.
Thank you for asking me, and no.
I hear you, I care about you and no.
Let me tell you a little story about a man

Isn't she funny? Alright so here is my challenge. Make a list (mental or physical) of what is truly important to you so you can know when to say yes and no, thanks.

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