Happy New Year's Day. You are listening to Episode 8 of She's Not Selfish. If you have ever felt guilty about saying no or if you feel the pressure to do it all, be at all balance, it all, uh mama, this episode is for you. Let's get to it.

 

There's a lot of talk about this idea of achieving balance in our lives, right? Like, we need to be able to balance our priorities, our tasks, our responsibilities, whatever word you want to use. Balance is ultimately the measure of our success.

 

But I think that there's a flaw and a real miss with that analogy. Namely, in that it kind of subconsciously perpetuates this idea that we can and should be able to do it all. Like we need to become increasingly proficient at balancing more and more stuff and that that is the marker of a successful woman. The more you can balance the more successful you will be as a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, etc, etc. Why is it that balancing everything is the measure of my success?

 

I want to challenge that because I am a person trying to lead a meaningful love-filled life. I'm guessing that you are too. I want to suggest to you that life is not the intricate balancing act that we make it out to be. It's not that complicated. You don't have to be and do all the things.

Now there is a principle from economics that fits in so nicely right here and I just can't resist, I have to share it. 

I know that some of you are cringing as you hear that, because you're like, "Samantha, I hate economics and I do not want to talk about economics." Listen, it's gonna be super applicable. You're going to love it, I promise. By the way, I majored in economics in college so you're kind of in the presence of an economics nerd. I hope you can look past it. All right. 

 

The concept is this. It's called opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is based on the idea, or more accurately, the principle that all resources are finite by nature. Right? There's a limited amount of time, energy, money that we have and we can apply this on a global scale as well to things like fossil fuels, clean water, you know whatever it is. Resources are limited. So that's the underlying idea.

 

So from there then we say that given the resources that we have in our possession, there are an infinite number of possibilities, an infinite number of opportunities in terms of the ways that we can use those resources. However, once we say yes to a certain path, a certain opportunity we with that same breath are simultaneously saying no to all of the alternative options that exist to that opportunity because we are choosing to invest our limited resources into that yes.

 

So with that yes there is a built-in no to all the alternatives. So, let me give you an example of this to make it a little bit more clear before we dig into this more. So for Christmas, so it's just Christmas, right? For Christmas, my brother's siblings and their wives all did Secret Santa. So I got my sister in law as my person for whom I needed to buy a gift and we had a 50 dollar limit. It was a soft limit. So about 50 dollars. With that 50 dollars, there are an infinite number of possibilities, right? Especially with the existence of Amazon Prime. There are an infinite number of possibilities in terms of the ways that I can spend that 50 dollars. Not only are there so many different things worth approximately 50 dollars that I could purchase for my sister in law, but you know I could break that 50 dollars up into multiple pieces and get her multiple gifts.

 

So, again infinite possibilities. But the moment that I choose to spend that 50 dollars, or a portion of that 50 dollars on something, all of those other possibilities dissipate, right? They disappear. Poof, they go away. Why? Because I spent the money.

 

And of course, the 50 dollars didn't actually disappear, right? It just took on a new form. Namely that of the gift for my sister in law, which she loved by the way. I got her the cutest bracelet from, I always have the hardest time saying this name, Swarovski crystals. And she loved it, so it was a hit. But the take away from this little story is that there's always a tradeoff, right?

 

As soon as you say yes to something you are saying no to all of the alternative options because your resources are finite, they're limited, they are not unlimited. So beyond gift-giving what is the application.

 

Well, life is a series of decisions, isn't it? I mean we're always presented with opportunities as to how we're going to use our energy, our time, our money. And what I want you to understand is that every time you say yes to something, you say, "Yes, I am going to invest my energy, my time, my focus in that thing." With that same breath, simultaneously you are saying no to all the alternative possibilities for that investment of time, energy, focus. Why? Because you are human with limited capacity. And like all of us, you have limited time, limited energy, limited focus. So how you invest it matters.

 

You can't put it everywhere. You can't do everything with it. You say yes to something. You're saying no to something else. Simple, right? Simple, yes. Easy to remember, not always, right? Now, along those same lines, when you say no to doing something, you say, "No, I'm going to choose not to invest my time, energy focus, resources there because it's not really worth it to me, or that's not really a priority to me.: When you say no to something you're saying yes to the other possibilities. And that is pretty special. Because a lot of times we get really caught up in saying no to things, right? 

 

I think especially as moms, maybe as women, we feel this pressure, this obligation to say yes to people, to expectations, to things that we feel like we should be doing. Like, "Oh I really should be doing that. I really should say yes to that." And then we feel this guilt for saying no.

 

But your no, is actually a yes. Isn't that kind of cool? When you're saying no to something, you're actually saying yes to something else, to something better, to something more well-aligned with your priorities.


 

And that is something special. That is something worth taking note of. So let go of the guilt about saying no. Recognizing that it's actually a yes to something bigger and better, that's more relevant and better aligned for you. So then maybe life is less like this intricate headache-inducing balancing act, and more so just a series of decisions that we get to make. We get to decide. We get to choose what we're saying yes to in our lives.

 

If you took physics, you're familiar with the word vector. Now to refresh your memory, a vector has both direction and also speed. And the term for this is velocity. Velocity is more than speed because velocity implies a direction to that speed. There inherently is a velocity to every decision that we make. And when I say decision, I mean the things that you say yes to in your life quote-unquote say yes to, and the things that you quote-unquote say no to with your actions, with your focus, with your thought life. Those things that you're saying yes and no to, they have velocity. They have both direction, and they have speed. Because when you say yes to certain things and no to certain things, those decisions are setting you on a course. They're determining the direction, the trajectory of your life. And they're determining the speed at which you are headed in that direction.

 

So then our goal is to determine the direction we want to go in and make sure that our yes's and our no's on a daily basis are sending us along that trajectory, along that path. Right? 

 

So if we're going to reverse engineer this thing we need to start by thinking about what are our big yeses? What are the things that I want to be saying yes to in my life? The things I want to be saying yes to in the New Year? Is it's good health? Good nutrition? Daily exercise? Quality time with family? Growing your business or your career? Investing in your kids? what are your big yeses for 2020? And when you're thinking about what your big yeses are we want them to be aligned with three things, okay?

 

Number one, your passion. Number two, your purpose. And number three, your conviction. And by the way, you get to decide what those things are. I really believe that we get to assign purpose in our lives, based on our experiences, what we've been exposed to, what we deem important to us. We get to define what our purpose is. And our purpose might change in different seasons of life. So, your yeses should be aligned with your passion, your purpose, and your conviction. And then use those big yeses as your guide.

 

So again going back to that idea of opportunity cost. Knowing that you can't say yes to everything on a daily basis. We need to be saying yes to the things that align with our big yeses. And that those big yeses align with our passion, our purpose, and our conviction. Because listen, I don't know if this is true for you, I'm not going to assume it is, but I'm going to tell you what's true in my life and maybe it'll resonate with you. Maybe you can relate to it. I find that it's so easy to just run through my day, nay, sprint through my day. You know, putting out fires, dealing with just the basic things that we need to do in order to survive and get through. Like, "Okay, we got to feed everybody. Okay, everybody's fed. Okay, we've got to have some outside time. Okay, got it. We got to get to the store. Okay, got it. We've got to take naps. Okay, good. Now we got to make dinner. Okay." You know it's just like one thing to the next. Go go go constantly. And it's chaotic, and it's busy, and it's why we talk about balancing things in life. Because it feels like a freaking juggling show because it's crazy.

 

There's so much happening, so much being demanded from us as moms every single day, every single moment it feels like sometimes. So it becomes so easy to just run through the day without a real grounding sense of direction and intention and premeditated motive for what we're doing, and even how we're doing it. And the real sad piece of that is that that type of approach to the day causes us to really miss out on an opportunity because even in those moments where things are chaotic and it doesn't feel like we're really doing anything to intentionally direct our day, inherently we are. Inherently, we are choosing our trajectory even when we're not consciously, actively choosing it.

 

It simply is happening as the results of our actions and our thoughts and our words, all of those things combined. It's happening whether we're on board for it or not, whether we're actively directing and conducting it ourselves or not. It's happening regardless. So the key then is to hop off the crazy train and be intentional about the direction it's going.

 

And we actually touch on this a little bit in episode six, with Maureen Francois. So if you missed episode six, go back and listen to it because it's fantastic. But in there, Maureen talks about this idea of just taking like 30 seconds at the end of your day, once the kids are down, and just thinking through what went really well, what didn't go great, and what do we want to do differently tomorrow? And even just that quick simple process can be a really big step in the right direction of ensuring that we're not just living the same day again and again on repeat. But we're really being intentional about engaging with our trajectory, determining capacity, and being intentional about how we are going into the next day armed with that information about yesterday, in terms of what went, well what didn't go well, what can we do differently? 

 

And we can even add into that a quick check-in as to how that day's decisions, the things that we either literally said yes and no to or figuratively said yes and no to with our actions and our focus, how those things aligned with our big yeses. 

 

Now there's one other perspective shift that I think is relevant and important that I want to mention here. And it's this shifting of our focus from the doing to the being. You see the balancing act that I was talking about when this episode first started, is a focus on the doing. How much can we balance? How much can we do successfully at one time? It's all about the checklist. It's all about the tasks that need to get accomplished. But what if we take our focus from those things which are of course important.

 

The checklist is important, right? It's stuff that has to get done. But what happens when we shift our focus from that and instead focus more on how do I want today to feel? How do I want today to feel for me? How do I want today to feel for my kids? What do I want that experience to feel like? And then in addition to that who do I want to show up as today? Who do I want to be today for myself? And who do I want to be today for my children? Or who do I want to be today to my co-workers? You know, whoever it is.

 

And with our focus there, we can still give consideration to the list of tasks that we have to get done. It's not like we just totally give up on the things that we need to get done. I'm not suggesting that. Of course, that would be silly. But to allow the checklist to be slightly de-prioritized, in comparison to how we're showing up in our day for ourselves and for the people we love. The feel of the day, the experience of the day.

 

You know when you're giving a presentation, people will often say, "People won't remember the words you say, but they'll always remember how you make them feel." Or when we're talking about planning a business and thinking about a service offering. There's often a lot of conversation around, "Well, yeah technically we're selling a product or service, but we're really selling a feeling." Like, that's the thing that people really latch on to.

 

What if we approached our lives and our households with that mentality? Like hey, it's less about what we actually do here and more about the feeling that we leave people with because it's that feeling that ignites passion and purpose and togetherness and excitement and teamwork. Right? Which is what a family is. It's kind of an interesting thing to think about. Even for those of us listening who aren't super type A and are super task-oriented. It's something to consider.

 

Now as we're starting to wrap up the episode, there are two reminders or bits of encouragement with which I want to leave you. The first is that you're not superwoman. You are a human woman. And by the way, you don't have to be superwoman. You're not required or expected to do everything, although that is so often the expectation that you may place on yourself or you may feel that that is what is expected of you. It's not.

 

You get to decide what expectations you adhere to and that doesn't have to be one of them. And there may be times when you feel like, "Yeah, I can do it all. I can balance all this." I just want to remind you that there is always a tradeoff. And that in focusing so much on the doing, it may just be that you are forgetting about the being.

 

And the second and final reminder is that whenever you say no to the things that are out of alignment with your health or your priorities or your goals, with that very same breath you are saying yes to the possibilities of the things that are in alignment with your health, your priorities, and your goals.

 

So I really want to challenge you. I really want to implore you to not feel guilty anymore for the times you say no. Because you know that you're saying yes to the things that matter.

 

All right so now that you've had this super educational and fantastic review of opportunity cost, vectors, and velocity want you to get out there and kick off 2020 with a bang. Okay. Seriously though, I've had so much fun talking with you today. Just you and me again after our series of interviews. And I want you to be thinking about your big yeses for 2020 and then think about how your daily decisions align with those big yeses.

 

If you are one of my amazing supporters who has already subscribed to, or rated or reviewed this show I just want to take a quick moment to recognize you and say thank you so so much. Your support means the world to me and I am so grateful that you're here and so grateful that you took the few moments to hop on and leave that reading or review or click the subscribe button.

 

And if you're listening and you haven't done that yet, and if today's message resonated with you, or if anything that we talked about clicked, I would so appreciate it. It would mean so much to me and this show if you would take a couple of moments to rate or review She's Not Selfish. And that as I have for you today. I hope that you thoroughly enjoy this first day of 2020. Until next time friend.

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