Saying ‘Yes’ to Everything Isn’t Mandatory

One word to describe my life is “busy” and eventually my answer to every “how are you?” has been “busy” or “tired.” I know too well to answer with an “I’m fine,” but nowadays being preoccupied seems to be more relevant because it says something about how you’re moving forward in life or just simply “living.” In the past three years, instead of moving my way up the ladder of a cool college life,  I’ve managed to pathetically succumb to the fantasy of a “fast-paced” life, slowly causing the vibrant 20-year-old in me to turn stale and greatly unfulfilled. 

Related Article: How You Can Practice Self Love 

Now, the real question is, “Is this what life’s really about?” 

I used to think that if I had everything sorted out in college, I’d get the job I want, it would pay me the money I need and I’d be the happiest I’ve been. But now that my hard work and determination has presented me with all the opportunities I need on a silver platter, I realized that no amount and no job can ever pay for the level of anxiety, and the frequency of mental breakdowns I’ve collected over the years. As easy as this sounds, the main problem any busy-body has is the failure to recognize that saying ‘yes’ isn’t mandatory. We may recognize the need to let go of some commitments, but to deny the urge to say yes remains the hardest. 

In fact, what I struggle with the most is comprehending that I don’t have to do all the work and I don’t have to always be on-the-go. I've grown so accustomed to the benefit of a fast-paced lifestyle that I forget to appreciate what makes my life move, which is no one but myself. 

In the past few weeks that I’ve started my process of changing my attitude toward saying ‘yes’, I’ve learned to be more forgiving, understanding and accepting of myself. I’ve set boundaries with what I can do and what I should do, which ultimately keeps my mental health intact and my physical health stable.  

Related Article: It’s Okay To Not Do It All

In the process of learning to say no, I think the key takeaway that has motivated me to keep going is that efficiency isn’t fueled purely by hard work. It’s fueled by self-care, healthy eating, sleep, time-off and hard work. Instead of letting life control you, focus on what fuels you and your happiness so you can ultimately create a life that you love.