Make a decision. Who knew that was such a direct and instant way to increase your energy? Here’s how I stumbled on that little aha earlier this week.
I was sitting at my desk, staring at my computer, allowing the cursor hover over the send button for quite a while. I wiggled it around with the mouse, I waved it back and forth, I slowly circled the bright blue button a few times, and then I slowly put my finger down until I heard and felt that little click. Off it went.
It was one of the most difficult emails I’ve sent in awhile.
Not because it contained anything particularly sensitive or confrontational.
Because it contained a “no, thank you” for something pretty amazing.
I politely, and apologetically, declined an invitation to an exclusive weeklong retreat in Spain. We’re talking about hanging out in a villa on the island of Mallorca, hiking in the mountains, eating healthy meals, and participating in what I’m sure will be a powerful experience for everyone involved.
I’d been thinking about it for at least 2 months. My wife even said I should go if I really wanted to. However, every time I thought about it, I couldn’t get myself to commit. I just couldn’t make a decision.
I hadn’t said yes, but I hadn’t said no, either. I kept myself in the middle zone between yes and no, wrestling every few days with the question of whether to stay or go, and never coming up with a definitive answer.
And then I remembered something I heard Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, say on a podcast once about how he makes a decision when he’s faced with any invitation: “If it’s not a Hell Yeah!, then it’s a no.”
Great advice, yes?
As appealing as the retreat was, for some reason I wasn’t saying “Hell Yeah!” to it. Rather than trying to figure out why, I just let the philosophy (and my gut) run the show this time, and sent my regrets to the host of the event.
Suddenly, I felt free. Light. Happy. Happy that I turned down a week on a beautiful mediterranean paradise? Yeah, happy. Almost giddy. I just turned down what could be the retreat of a lifetime and I felt giddy about it. Still do.
That’s how much energy I was reserving by staying in that middle zone between yes and no for so long. I didn’t even realize how much that indecision was weighing me down. I certainly didn’t realize how good it would feel to say no, especially to something that seemed so potentially wonderful. And that energy I was holding back wasn’t helping me live what I consider to be a superpowered life.
Here’s what I learned from this:
- It’s ok — nay, MANDATORY to listen to your gut.
- Don’t ever be afraid to say no.
- Don’t wait so damn long to make a decision next time.
Hope this helps you in some way. If it did, tell me your story! Drop it in the comments below, or if you’d prefer to keep it just between you and me, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. When I say no like this, I always say it nicely, but I say it with confidence and zero guilt. Click here to learn out how I do that.