Every once and a while, we find ourselves saying “yes” to something and then instantly regretting it.
Carly Hazen shares the formula for things to ask yourself before you agree to something.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Saying “Yes”
1. What purpose does this serve?
Will this help any of my goals? Will I learn something new? Will this help achieve something that’s meaningful to me? Or, perhaps one of the most important questions: will this be fun?!
If you ask yourself these questions and don’t feel compelled by your answers, it’s okay to pass. But, it’s also important to steer away from just transactional opportunities that serve professional aspirations. If the only reason to say yes is because you think it will be fun, that’s a totally legitimate reason!
2. How does this coincide with my life goals [either personal or professional]?
Often we say yes to things because we feel that’s what we are expected to do, or we don’t want to let someone down. You will bring much more value to something if you genuinely care about it, as well as those also involved with it.
One way to narrow down what we can and want to commit to is to evaluate whether this new opportunity aligns with our life goals. Are we volunteering because it’s part of our personal mission to help people, or are we just doing it because it looks good on a resume or application?
3. What value can I bring to this (project, cause, organization, etc.)?
If you don’t already have a personal and/or professional mission statement, ask yourself which skills or what background knowledge you have that might be able to help out. If your skill sets or background don’t quite match up, the opportunity, however good is just not meant for you. At least not right now.
4. Do I have enough time?
The biggest mistake we can make in agreeing to taking on a new opportunity or responsibility at work or otherwise is doing so without considering how much time it will require.
There is only so much time in one day. Not only do we need to learn to prioritize it; we also need to achieve a deeper understanding of the different kinds of time available every day. We need just as much productive time as we do rest time; just as much family and friend time as alone time.
5. Am I saying YES because I don’t want to say NO?
One of the biggest reasons people say yes to things they don’t want to do is because they don’t know how to say no, and that it will be rude to the person who was asking, and they would never want to offend anyone. But, I’ve learned that I don’t get offended when people say no to me. In fact, I’d rather someone be honest with me than say they’ll do something and flake out later.
So what is there to be afraid of?