Clarify Your Yes! - Lancaster Chamber of Commerce
Clarify Your Yes!
Local Stories, Women in Business

By Nikki Shingle, North Group Consultants

Do you find it challenging to say no sometimes? The tension that high-achieving women feel when their time is limited and requests for their leadership keep coming can be overwhelming. Maybe it’s a desire to please others or maybe it’s our drive to grow and accomplish that makes it so challenging to say no. When we find ourselves saying yes, we might also find ourselves working in overdrive to make it appear as though we have it all together!

You are likely familiar with the metaphor of a swan gracefully gliding across the water while under the surface, where no one can see, webbed feet are frantically paddling. Just like that swan, we are determined to get it all done and make it look effortless.

It’s tempting to think that if we could just find more time, we could be more enthusiastic and productive. But the truth is – there are only 24 hours in a day. Even though we cannot generate more time, we can multiply our energy when we connect with people who inspire us and make commitments that allow us to be who we were created to be! Maximizing our energy enables us to make the most of our time.

Another reality that is tempting to ignore is that every time we say yes to something, we are simultaneously saying no to something else. It’s important to be mindful of what you might be inadvertently saying no to when you agree to lead a project, travel to a conference, or accept a volunteer responsibility.

Below are some questions I have used as a guide when bringing clarity to my yes.

Does this opportunity…

1.      align with my values and fit my purpose?

2.      offer me a chance to work with people who inspire me?

3.     come with adequate resources and support necessary to complete the task?

4.      help me to grow professionally—and will that growth stretch me in a positive way?

5.      fit with the parameters I have set for travel and time away from family?

6.      force me to delay any previous commitments?

When I think of a swan, I only think of its beauty.  Maybe you already know this, but I recently learned that swans are not only elegant, but they have remarkable wing strength and a fierce temperament. Some are even known to only swim with one leg, while the other is tucked above its tail to help quickly change direction when they spot food or an oncoming predator.  Instead of pursuing the appearance of elegance at the expense of balance, let’s exemplify strength in clarifying our yes to maximize our energy and live within our values and purpose!

Join us at our 2024 Professional Women’s Forum on Tuesday, March 26th!

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