When your life changes because you get divorced or someone close to you dies your life is turned upside down. You’re going to be asked to do things and make decisions that you probably never had to make. You might even want to always say yes.
Saying yes may have served you well in the past. You’ll want to think before you continue saying yes to all the requests and decisions you’re going to have to make.
If you don’t learn to say no you’ll have no time.
We spend too much time in our lives doing what other people want us to do. I know that I get a great deal of pleasure making others happy. I also know that if I don’t spend time thinking about what’s important to me I live my life for the benefit of others.
There’s nothing wrong with this when you make a decision to live for others. Just make sure you’re making the decision because it’s what you want to do. Don’t make the decision because it’s what you think you should do or because someone else has asked you to. This is especially true after your world has just been turned upside down.
Saying yes should be a rare event.
The problem with saying yes all of the time is that when we do this we don’t make time for the things we really want to do. If you ask me to serve on a non-profit board I might think it’s a good cause and I should fulfill your request.
The problem with doing this is the word should. If you’re doing things because you think you should you’re probably not doing them because you want to. Life is short. Saying yes to everyone who asks will make it shorter. Without a lot of no’s you’re not making room for the yes’ that are really important in your life.
Let people know you’ll think about it.
There is a third option. When someone asks you to do something you can always think about it. If you don’t have a strong yes or no it’s OK to just let it sit for a while. Don’t make a decision until you get a strong feeling. If you never get a strong feeling your answer should probably be no.
When you have a radical change that’s happened in your life you might be scared the phone will never ring and no one will ever want to spend time with you again. That’s a natural feeling and it’s one that’s probably not true. Saying you’ll think about it allows you to defer and in most cases that’s the right thing to do after a major loss or change.
Not yet is a great thing to say.
There are some things that you’re going to want to do or think you must do. Most of these things don’t have to be done right now. That’s where the magic phrase “not yet” comes into play. This signals that you know you should or want to do something and that you’re not prepared to take action. It’s OK to delay taking action. Not everything has to be done at one time.
It’s really about what you want when you want it.
In some instances having a major change in your life allows you to start over. When you say yes after a major change have it fit with the new you. There will be a new you and it might take some time to appear. Let the new you form before you start making lots of commitments. You’ll be glad you did.
We have a workbook that might help in this situation. It’s called the decision free zone. There are decisions you have to make and some you’ll make later. This workbook will help you through deciding which is which. To get the workbook, click on the button below.
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