Know When to Say “No.”


I’m a proactive person. I love doing things. I love having things to do. Dormancy is enjoyable on occasion. I can be just as lazy as the next person when the mood strikes me. However, I have a tendency to take opportunities and run with them.

I’m told it’s an asset. However, it’s gotten me in trouble a few times.
Interns of the enthusiastic sort will often face this problem. You’re feeling invincible (or you feel like you need to catch up) and something comes along that seems like a good idea. It’s something to sharpen your game, or put you ahead of the rest. It’s a great chance.
It’s a chance that only a fool would pass up. Right?
You take on the responsibility. You may thrive on the thrill of being over-stressed for a short period. Sleep deprivation may turn into an Energizer-Bunny-like state of slap-happiness. But once that wears off, all you can think of is that fact that you are so overrun, exhausted, and overwhelmed.
Who wouldn’t be stressed?
I’ve put myself in that situation way too many times. I’m a glutton for punishment, in that way. I thrive on occupation, but can’t always say “no” to the chances that come by. I’m opportunistic to the point of fault.
I’ve spent the last few months of my life doing some serious personal re-organizing. Priorities, necessities, goals, motives…I’ve been processing all of these things. And, currently, my biggest obstacle is my random spurts of self-doubt. My second-largest issue is my inability to pass on things.
Learn your limits. Know how much you can handle. Now is the time to learn that, and to push the limit. Never, ever overstep too far, though. It could end up hurting things in the long run. Take care of yourself first and foremost, and as you do that, things should continue to fall into place.
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3 thoughts on “Know When to Say “No.”

  1. More of us are there than would like admit. Good to think about these kind of things now — that way you can manage them rather than collapsing when you're in your 40s! Awareness is the first couple of steps.

  2. I regularly find myself taking time out to evaluate where I'm at with the things on which I am working. In fact, I had a post earlier last year talking about "project detox" and the act of cleansing yourself of those things which just aren't going to make it, or aren't truly fulfilling for you.It's great to see you taking those same steps and learning about your own limits. I think it shows a level of maturity as a professional that you can recognize your own limits and play off of them accordingly.

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