Self Leadership – The Energy Drain of the Automatic Yes

The Automatic YesLet’s define the automatic Yes.   An automatic yes is when you respond to an invitation  without taking time to pause in order access your personal energy,resources or values.

There is a reason – so many women leaders make overcommitments:

As a woman, If you are not too exhausted, you probably love to be able to say Yes!  For the most part –  It’s in your nature to serve others.   And let’s be honest – when you get to say yes – it feels good.

In general Yes’s can raise your vibrational energy when they are in alignment with your beliefs and available vitality. That’s the good news.   A mind, body and spirit totally aligned yes – can be a very joyful experience.

When Yes’s are automatic however, they just may cause you to extend past your available energy, resources or beliefs. Automatic yes’s – they can instead dampen your energy and even take you down right into an exhaustion cycle.

Let’s look at some the factors around self leadership Yes’s and No’s:

Benefits of Yes’s (perceived)

  • You might be seen as someone who is organized and time-wise.
  • You will be liked for your response. People love to hear yes.
  • You might be appreciated. People are grateful you said yes.
  • You might bolster some else’s esteem. A yes makes someone feel good about themselves.
  • You might ease some else’s stress or burden
  • You might get to delay a decision
  • You will please someone

Consequences of Automatic Yes’s

  • You might make an overcommitment  – and either get tired, or do a lower quality of service as a result
  • You might have to disappoint someone afterwards – because you can’t complete on what you agreed to do
  • You might become resentful of having to do what you said yes to
  • You put others before yourself.   Your needs get back-burnered.
  • You make no traction on your own goals because you have gifted your time, energy and resources to another vision – not your own
  • You’ll have no more capacity for “Really Big Yes’s”
  • You might have to lie again later
  • You might delay decisions

Consequences of No’s

  • Someone wouldn’t like it
  • You might be left at some point
  • You might leave someone else behind at some point
  • You might lose out
  • You might have to actually do what you say is important to you
  • You’ll have to make a decision
  • There might be trouble

Why do Automatic Yes’s?

The reason so many women give automatic yes?  The answer deeply lies in one question:

 What is it YOU would have to feel – if you were to not to say yes?

A No spoken with congruence and alignment of mind-body and spirit not only is true to your own essence – it often is in service to the other.  When we give from a place of  low congruence – we give to the other person – less than they deserve – and in some ways we might even cheat them from the opportunity of finding a better option.

When we give from a place of a resounding yes!  we give our whole heart body and soul.  People do deserve this from us.  In self leadership,when you respond with the truth of your capacity and wishes – you give to another a gift. You give to your self – aliveness.

I am going to urge you to stop the practice of saying yes before you make an assessment about whether it really, really works for you.  Instead, I urge you to check in with your boundaries by pausing long enough to check-in on three things:

  1. A self assessment as to if you have the time, energy and resources to be able to deliver on your yes from a place of abundance.
  2. Assess whether this invite is in alignment with your goals – or is important enough to override your goal and values.
  3. If there is an emotional charge present – that you wait for clarity through that emotional wave.

All three of these check-in’s require you to get present to the question “What would I need to feel if I was not to say yes?” and then pause long enough to respond from full congruence.

Also watch out for these signs that you are perhaps making overcommitments:

  • A feeling that there is an expectation to say yes
  • A thought that you are obligated to say yes
  • A lack of enough awareness of  what you are really getting yourself into
  • A not yet learned skill of judgment. Over estimating your capacity.  (stopping and thinking before committing)
  • A not yet learned skill of  feeling things fully ( so you can respond instead of react)
  • Perhaps even fearing the consequences or outfall of saying no
  • “Over-using” a natural strength of responsibility

Let’s have you live in the place of a holistic yes.   A place where your heart and soul is aligned in everything you do – and you still have enough ease and energy to do the things that are most important to you.

You can do this – and the best news with you start saying big yes’s with 100% congruence you’ll give the best of who you are to the world.  Both you and the world deserve that.


10 Personal Leadership Tips on How to Be Unconditionally Compassionate

personal leadership compassion


“One of those blessings was each day, I had the opportunity to get better and better at being unconditionally compassionate.’

I’ve learned, when the purpose and meaningfulness are large enough – our compassion doesn’t need boundaries of a clock – nor of personal energy tank levels.  When the meaningfulness and love are there; empathy and compassion flows freely.

I used to believe it was very difficult to attempt to give empathy if my self-empathy was low or depleted and while there is still truth in that statement, what I also believe is that unconditional compassion is possible when you are “filled with love”.  I have found that LOVE topped my empathy tank instantly, and my level of personal presence soared.

Even in the face of what previously might have been overwhelmingly unfaceable stuff, I now believe it’s possible to be compassionate without limits.

Here are 10 tips to help you leverage love to get better at being unconditionally compassionate:

  1. Listen to Love and Express with Love.   The voice of love is a calm and soothing voice.  It’s not the hurtful things people might when they are hurting.  It’s not the judgements or criticisms that may come towards you.   Key – is to validate your wholeness rather than looking outside yourself for validation of the magnificent being you are. When you express with Love, you say everything that needs to be said from Love.  People need to hear your love – feeling it is one thing – expressing it is equally important.  And I found they just might need to hear what you have to say.  Even if it’s something simple as “It’s OK to go, Dad, we’ll be OK”.
  2. Allow instead of control.  When you allow options and choices to flow with ease, things flow.  “Love going with the flow”. It leaves you in the most flexible position to be able to respond to what you witness.
  3. Self-manage.   Feel your emotions and at the same time you do it for yourself you have the opportunity to help the other to self-manage too.  The better the energy of the emotions can flow – the more intimacy and authenticity gets to be present between you and another.
  4. Jettison any judgements you may find yourself collecting.  Judgement is just another way of separating yourself from Awareness and Truth.  Remember we are ONE.
  5. Pity nothing.  Pitying puts you on a different level than the one you are serving.  Learn to love seeing yourself as one with them.
  6. Serve instead of manage.  Serving takes into account the wishes, hopes, capacity and needs of the other.  Managing implies you need to control behaviours to reach an intended outcome.   Sometimes being in service is the gift you give.
  7. Have a cause yet don’t get crippled by it.  When a loved cause becomes a burden – compassion suffers.  It takes a light connection to a cause to be able to embrace it fully & continually.
  8. Forgive.  Forgive them and yourself.  Everyone does the very best they can with what resourcefulness they have at any given moment. See them with LOVE.
  9. Laugh lots. Laughter helps keep things light.  Even the densest of situations can be lightened up with a little congruent laughter.
  10. Stay in the present moment.  Letting your mind drift to the past or to what might be coming next can either get you lost in stories or worry.   Remember fear can’t live in the present moment.


This article was a result of my time giving at-home-complex-palliative care for my 82-year-old father who had end-stage bone cancer.

Dad had a terrible time of it – and while that was true, it was also true there were many blessings and a legacy of love that came from sharing this experience with him.

Note:Dad I’ve written these 10 tips in the context of caregiving – yet believe they can be universally useful.   Test them out.   Identify a scenario where you feel you could be better at being unconditionally compassionate – and see if you feel these tips are helpful.

Have additional tips? Leave a comment to share.

Looking for another perspective of compassion?  Have a listen in on Joan Hyatt’s TED talk on compassion and empathy – It is moving and so accurate a description: