3-second test before you say yes to anything

A number of years in the past, if you requested me to do one thing, I’d say “yes” with out hesitation.

Canine sit for per week? Positive! Assist you with a challenge? In fact! Learn your manuscript in 24 hours? Completely.

It was an “auto-yes” I couldn’t management. I used to be a traditional people-pleaser; too afraid to say “no” out of fear of disappointing someone, lacking a chance, or steering right into a confrontation.


An enthusiastic “yes!” saved me from the imaginary wrath of another person’s emotions, nevertheless it despatched me into my very own tailspin. Too typically, after saying “yes” I’d notice that I really didn’t need to try this process, didn’t have the free time to, or would wish to cancel plans to match it in. It left me feeling overcommitted, confused, and resentful—but I nonetheless saved saying “yes.”

A part of me hoped the individuals in my life would acknowledge the strain they placed on me and chill on the requests. Not surprisingly, this didn’t pan out. When you naturally default to yes, individuals have difficulties realizing your boundaries as a result of they don’t have any clue you’re overtaxing your self with commitments.

I spotted I had to take my people-pleasing drawback into my very own fingers. The very first thing I spotted I wanted to work on: my response time. Or, on this case, the time I used to be not giving myself to make a response. Answering “yes!” straight away offers you no time to take into consideration your needs or wants.

With apply, I discovered how to embrace what I name a “3-second yes” and nix my “auto-yes.” It’s made all of the distinction. Now, after I say “yes” it’s an genuine “yes,” not one which requires backpedaling and a “so sorry however…” excuse later.

Right here’s How a ‘3-Second Yes’ Works:

When your go-to M.O. is being agreeable, saying no can really feel subsequent to unimaginable. However you can work up to it.

The following time somebody asks you for one thing, make it your intention to wait 3 full seconds before saying yes. It would really feel awkward at first, however this countdown will assist your stress or nervousness settle.


Use this time to suppose by way of 3 crucial questions before you say “yes”:

●︎ Do I actually have the time?

●︎ Is that this price a yes?

●︎ What does my intestine say?

Do I actually have the time?

You know your availability higher than the particular person asking you. You additionally know the way you deal with the stress of being pressed for time or spreading your self too skinny.

Take into consideration what it means to prioritize your self and solely tackle what you can rightfully deal with. A easy “let me get again to you” may afford you the additional time of discovering steadiness.

Is that this price a yes?

Think about what becoming within the request means for you. Take into consideration your time, emotions, and the doable end result of your choice—primarily a “cost-benefit” evaluation.

Do the prices of claiming “yes” outweigh the advantages of claiming “no”?

Solely you can reply this query, and it’s one which you should consider fully and answer honestly.

What does my intestine say?

When confronted with a call to make, my physique reacts strongly. It’s just a little little bit of nervousness (you want to reply!) and an interior realizing of my curiosity or lack thereof in doing what I’ve been requested.

When a request comes your approach, discover how you really feel. If it doesn’t feel right, you can pose a number of follow-up questions for particulars to higher lead your alternative.


A 3-second yes is a extra assured yes. You possibly can nonetheless present up and assist others, however you’re now doing so as a result of you need to and imply it. The following time you really feel on the spot, take a breath, and lean into the pause.

This article initially appeared on Shine and is reprinted with permission. You possibly can obtain the Shine app here for every day self-care help, personalised to you. Discover meditations, articles, and extra to assist you calm your nervousness and really feel extra assured at work.