“We change when the pain to change is less than the pain to remain as we are.” – Ed Foreman

Shake your head with me if you are the type of person who agrees too often.  You say yes and then, at some point, you wish you had said no.

I am particularly guilty of doing this in my personal life. It’s a game of tug of war between myself and my perception of what the other person wants.

I realize got myself into this situation by trying to be helpful without thinking of how it would affect my life and my son’s life.  Yesterday I was discussing a current personal dilemma with another friend and when she asked, “What are you doing to do?”  Quickly I replied, “I’ll do something about it when the alternative of not doing anything is more uncomfortable.”

Last night as I was working on my Manifesto (it still needs some polishing) I realized how the conversation and my manifesto tied together – or rather how I want my manifesto to read.

As uncomfortable as situations may be we chose to remain in them until the pain of not changing is more painful. More often than not saying “yes” to something means we have to say “no” to something else. What I’ve said “no” to is the painful part.

I want my personal and professional manifesto to read something along these lines:

  • “I will chose to take on causes and help others after I have carefully weighed out how the decision will affect my life.”
  • “If it should happen that I realize I should have said “no” I will address the “pain” rather than letting it fester.”

In the future I promise I will ask myself the following questions before I say yes:

  • Am I saying yes because I don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings?
  • Does this situation align with my goals?
  • Have I considered the time investment necessary?
  • Have all possible outcomes been considered?
  • If I say “No” what is the worst that will happen?
  • Is this what I really, really want to do?

What are your thoughts? What questions have you asked yourself before you’ve agreed to something?

While you are writing your comments I will be addressing my situation.