Two of my favorite questions when making decisions are:
What am I saying yes to later, by saying no to this now?
What am I saying no to later by saying yest to this now?
This works for anything from “Should I buy this?” to “Should I go after this dream?”
Saying yes to a second piece of the Strawberry Trifle means saying no to fitting in that cute little dress for an upcoming summer wedding.
Saying no to checking emails & Facebook throughout the day means getting all my videos recorded for my new Time Management course.
Saying yes to heading out on the trail for a run despite sore muscles from yesterday’s run means saying no to feeling regretful tomorrow, wishing I’d been active.
Saying no to a potential client who’s only available to meet at the time I promised to be there for my husband means saying yes to honoring my word and prioritizing my relationship with him.
The lower brain wants whatever feels “right” right now!
It’s not smarter than the prefrontal cortex (PFC); it’s just LOUDER! Think of the lower brain (LB) as a toddler. It throws tantrums. It’s impulsive. Impatient. It has a hart time controlling its impulses. It can also be very dramatic and persistent!
**But here’s a secret** Stalling that toddler (LB) long enough to get its parent (the PFC) back in the room, often results in rational decisions which are intentionally chosen with the future & your best interests in mind!
Here’s what that looks like:
Lower brain (LB): “That ice cream was amazing! Another bowl won’t hurt.”
(Remove self from the temptation, notice what you’re feeling in your body and listen to the “chatter” in your head with curiosity rather than judgement.)
PFC: “I do want more. But I also want to be comfortable wearing shorts this summer.”
LB: “I went running yesterday though. Another bowl won’t matter just one time. I already burned off the calories.”
PF: “True. If I eat a second bowl, I might still maintain my current weight. But my goal is to lose weight. Saying yes to more means saying no to hitting that goal… Besides… I’m not even hungry anymore.”
Insert any content above. Spending, investing, over-eating or drinking, taking action or avoiding, watching “just one more” episode of a binge-watch.
Two of the toughest lessons for humans to master are:
learning to do the things we don’t want to do
and not doing the things we want to do
We must be willing to say no to ourselves in the present in order to create the future we want most of all.
If you find that your inner toddler impossible to discipline during decisions, enforce a 24 hour rule to start with. Wait 24-hours to make a decision, giving you the time needed to compare all your Yes’s & No’s. This will get easier with time. That toddler won’t learn delayed gratification without the lesson being repeated.
So the next time you find yourself mid-impulse or decision, ask yourself as many questions as possible. What are you saying no to later if you say yes now? If the decision has any feelings of urgency with it, delay the decision for 24 hours.
You’ll be so glad you did.
Not sure how to apply this to your own life? Why not do a mini session with me?
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