The yes disease and a winner

I’m learning something about myself this year–I have a really bad habit of not saying no. When an organization talks to me about volunteering, I tend to say yes. There are so many causes I want to be involved in, all worthy. From coaching help, to school volunteering, to heading up a committee at church, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and stretched to my limit. I have no one to blame but myself.

I think I got myself into this mess this year because, with both kids at school now, I feel like I have more time and therefore I should use my time for good. A just belief, no doubt. But when you begin to spread yourself thin, you’re not doing anyone much good. I’m not as productive with work as I’d like to be. I have less energy. I’m not accomplishing all the things I’d like to at home (all those closets I thought I’d get to this year).

So it’s time to take a good hard look at what I can and can’t do, what’s important and what’s not. In the end I need to make some cuts (I feel like a politician) and not worry about whose toes I step on in the process. Guilt is a bad emotion and I need to shake it. The goal is to come out the other end a better servant to those organizations I do stay involved with, as well as to have more to give to my life in general.

I’m guessing I’m not alone in this “yesitis” syndrome. How do you all manage it?

Onto the winner of my CSN gift card. selected Jason from Life of an Aspiring Triathlete. Jason’s blog is full of good interviews and delicious recipes–go check it out. Congrats Jason!

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  1. marathonmaiden says

    i suffer hardcore from the yes disease! i've gotten better about it but i'm such a people pleaser that i hate saying no. but i try to tell myself that i hate saying yes and then backing out more.

    p.s. i'm running boston and would love to take part in your blogger meetup!

  2. Quinton J says

    I’ve been living with YESITITES for years. It sucks. I’ve tried everything. Up to and including rationing my weekly “Yeses” (When they’re gone…they’re gone).
    Some say you’re born with it. I’m slowly learning how to control it, to live a more balanced life…but it takes time…and the ability to occasionally yell “OH HELL NO!”
    Good luck.

  3. Amanda - RunToTheFinish says

    hmm not a problem I have ever had…not sure why but im' more likely to say no when first asked and then commit later

  4. Kenley says

    Yesitis! Lord knows, you are not alone on that one. You are right in the fact that though you want to be able to help every one out, you have to know when to say no. Sometimes it's really hard. I am working on this myself, though, it's not really a case of having too much to do, it is managing what I have to do in the first place. Running has been one of those things to help me with that. Have a great weekend.

  5. Jennifer says

    After being in admin at our university I got real good at asking. Now I am very careful to avoid people like me as I have a hard time saying no as well. With practice I am now very good at saying no, but it sure took a while. Good luck!

  6. ShutUpandRun says

    You know I've gotten really good in the past couple of years only saying yes to the things I really want to do and am passionate about. If I'm asked something and I'm not sure, I let the person know I'll think about it. The answer is usually no. I used to to it all PTO president, etc, etc. Now I just pick and choose and I have to say I'm much happier. It's no easy task!

  7. JenniferLeah says

    Best wishes in finding balance with what you love :)
    Congrats Jason!
    Im always looking for good recipes so def checking it out

  8. funderson says

    I manage yes-itis, by having no-itis! I have a habit of always saying "no" to things and then feeling guilty about it! :)
    We can't win I'm telling you…

  9. Big Daddy Diesel says

    I have the no symdrome and I feel guilty

    No, I am a training ride
    No, I have a race
    No, I dont have the cash for that piece of training equipment, but I have a credit card (maybe this is a bigger problem)

  10. Kate says

    You are completely right. If you spread yourself too thin you're no good to anybody.

    Good for you for starting to say NO. :)

  11. heather says

    Oh yeah, I've got it. Sometimes I forget and catch myself nodding 'yes' even when I'm thinking 'no'.

    I go through months where I've committed myself to so much that I refuse to do anything the next month. Then I feel guilty and the cycle starts all over. Is there a cure?

  12. Gracie (Complicated Day) says

    I can't say no. This is why I work in an incredibly busy environment and still take on all the huge projects.

  13. Julie @ Hotlegs Runner says

    I hear you! it's hard to say no really. But in order for us to give 100% on certain things we must learn to say no and not spread ourselves to thin. I say YES to saying NO. =)

    Congrats Jason! =)

  14. Teamarcia says

    My level of overcommittedness ebbs and flows. When it gets out of hand I cut back and so on. I do feel like the bad girl sometimes but whatever.
    Congrats Jason!

  15. Rene' says

    I had a bad time of saying "yes" last school year, but I finally am learning and cut out two huge projects this year. I need to be able to fit in my running. Also, it always seems like it is the same people saying yes, sometimes it is time to give them a chance:)

  16. Barbie says

    Hi, my name is Barbara and I am a Yesitis sufferer… I think having committed myslef to the 70.3 training has pretty much helped me say no. I have no time :)

  17. Jason says

    You couldn't have said it any better and you can say it for me to. I essentially and donating myself to everything I can and then when I get home I look at that garage and think….oh man I should have done that. It is a ridiculous cycle of what else can I be doing. I need to stop and smell the roses as they say and now that you have pointed it out I think I will do just that.

    And thanks to you for hosting the giveaway and random generator for landing on my number. The wife will be thrilled.

  18. ajh says

    I'm actually pretty good at saying no. There is only so much time in a day and if I say yes to things I have control over there is no time for me. Work and meetings from work take so much time. I guard the rest of it with a vengeance!

  19. Cynthia O'H says

    I have the same problem. Really, the requests are good ones and I do want to help, take it on, etc. Then, I end up feeling overwhelmed.

    This is the first year that I've let some things go. The strange thing is I still feel like I'm running in all directions. Maybe I'll feel different after a few years of letting go. Hope you do.

  20. Julie says

    Hi Zippy,
    Ha ha, I just read Chris's comment…he is pretty flipping funny sometimes:)

    I used to have a hard time saying no too! I am getting better….I always say that family comes first. Try that and see if it works for you:)

  21. Jess @ Blonde Ponytail says

    Love your posts! I just started blogging after encouragement from other bloggy runners. Look forward to following you!

  22. MCM Mama says

    I have the same problem. I'm getting better about it, but I'm still working on getting out from under all the "yeses" I said last year…

    Good luck with that.

  23. Beth says

    I used to have that problem, but after volunteering non-stop for a couple years, I decided to take a year off. I just told people that I was taking a break. It was wonderful and I was cured of my yes issue!

  24. Jeff - DangleTheCarrot says

    So your saying you know of a politician that actually made some "cuts"? … hehehe! Must be one of those "New Americans" running around up there in MD!

  25. Johann says

    I'm glad to say I cured myself from this. I was bad and had to suffer through a lot but luckily saw the red lights and started saying no. The main thing is to not feel guilty.

  26. Fran says

    I got better at saying no over the years but still feel a bit guilty when I say no to someone/something. I have a busy job (where I hardly ever say no when something has to be done) and I do all the cleaning in my house myself. The time I have left after that is for my hub, family, friends and working out. I don't volunteer for things, maybe later when I've grown up but right now my life is full enough as it is.

  27. LMC says

    I used to say yes to all requests. Then I switched to "can I think about it?". That actually helped me get away from always saying yes because it gives me time to figure out if I either can't do it or don't want to do it. Good luck!

    Congrats to Jason!

  28. lindsay says

    i used to over-commit myself w/ volunteering for many things (never saying no); then i'd be stressed and in a bad mood over the obligations i had. i finished out the commitments and then became more choosy about the things i helped out with, much less stressful once i learned to say no!

  29. Petraruns says

    Oh my – that is my year in a nutshell. And man has it taken me a long time to realise how useless guilt is. It gets you nowhere. It's okay to say no – truly truly truly. You cannot make everything okay for everyone, or fix everything. I know completely where you are coming from…