Take a breath. It’s okay to say no.
This is the lesson I’ve been learning: how to say “No” in a go-getter, work-is-everything world.
And this is not me saying, “The worst thing about me is that I just work too hard.”
This post is about limitations and how you can thrive when you pay attention to them.
I recently made the jump to full-time music writer and musician.
But before that, I was juggling (and nearly dropping) a lot different things.
- I was working part-time at a bank, getting yelled at by angry customers.
- I was trying to get my writing career off the ground, taking on too many freelance jobs at once.
- I was running my podcast, getting stressed that the latest episode was late.
- I was playing a bunch of shows to raise money for our adoption, tiring out myself and my band mates.
- I started recording an album, but was struggling to find time to actually record.
This all just led to stress. Even more so, each of these things was getting less attention from my brain and the quality of each was in danger.
So, I had to get rid of something. It wasn’t a sustainable way of life, especially being a husband and father.
Because “No” let’s you rest. “No” is freeing. A “No” is a “Yes” to the most important stuff.
And “no” doesn’t me “never.” It can mean “not now” or “maybe later.”
The question is, what’s the most important thing to you right now? What can you say “no” to in order to focus more on that most important thing?
Here’s how that went for m: I quit the bank job, I’m taking a break from the podcast, and I’m holding off on booking shows. And my stress level is way down.
This means I can give more brain power and time to my new album, my writing career, and (most importantly) my family.
Learn from my missteps. Learn your limitations and practice saying “No” to something(s) if it’s too much.
Focusing on fewer things will allow you to become great at those things, instead of being just mediocre at several things.
Pretty soon after you say no, you’ll see how the stuff you say yes to will thrive.
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