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5 Powerful Questions to Decide When to Say "Yes" or "No" to Someone

This is the last section of my three-part series "Grounded Generosity." You can read the first part about generosity myths here and the second part about self-generosity here. Now I will share tangible steps to help you maintain your energy, set boundaries and truly find joy in the coming holiday season and beyond.

What is "Grounded Generosity"?

This is a phrase that I created to encompass what I believe is an authentic and sustainable way to extend generosity to others and ourselves. Grounded Generosity is making an intentional choice about how, when and if you share your time, resources and energy with others based on your own capacity, needs and desires.

Navigating Requests from Others During the Holidays

So much is asked of us in this busy modern world and even more so during the holiday season. Before you say yes or no to giving of your time, resources or energy you can pause and assess the situation, your capacity and your feelings.

I invite you to ask yourself these questions so that you can reply from Grounded Generosity with “I’m All In” or “Bummer, It won’t work” instead sitting on the fence which can be a bit painful a times and can certainly take up energy you want to use for other things.

Ask Yourself These Questions to Determine Whether You Say Yes or No (With Grounded Generosity):

1) What is my motivation for saying “yes” or “no”?

Sometimes we make a decision about how to be generous from fear or obligation rather than making a choice after thoughtful consideration of all the factors. Give yourself time to think and feel through the options.

2) Who benefits if I choose “yes” and who benefits if I say “no”?

When we are generous to others it can feel like we are detrimental to ourselves. Perhaps if you explore this question you can discover ways that extending generosity can benefit everyone involved.

3) If I honor my needs first, will I feel like I will be letting someone down?

This feeling of letting others down can be pervasive, especially with family. Once you are clear on your needs you can begin to explore ways that you can both honor yourself and those that you love. If possible, have an open and honest conversation, bring curiosity to the situation and you may find a creative solution that you never could have imagined.

4) Is this a situation that could move me from my comfort zone (mastery) to my growth zone (active learning) or will it push me to my panic zone (stress)?

Embarking on something new can cause hesitation for many of us simply because we are entering the unknown. New opportunities can provide growth and new possibilities, sometimes they can push us beyond learning to a place of overload and stress. Before you make a commitment you can take time to assess where you are and where you want to go next.

5) What feelings or physical sensations do I notice when I think about this opportunity?

Our bodies are wise and give us good information about how we really feel and what we really want. Even if your mind is going in a different direction, take time to acknowledge what your body is telling you, you might be surprised by what you learn about yourself! Trust your body!

When Dealing With Non-Negotiables

I know there are family and work obligations that are a MUST, so here’s the thing-- even if you don’t feel you have the freedom to choose Grounded Generosity you can still use these 5 questions.

Asking yourself these questions will help you get clarity about your thoughts, feelings and emotions and will give you access to finding your own creative approach that will help you maintain your energy and experience joy all year long!

After asking yourself these questions, what did you learn, what surprised you, what confirmed something you already knew?

I’d love to hear from you, please post a comment below.


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