Swipe Left: It’s time to say “NO!”

Swipe Left: It’s time to say “NO!”

Not too long ago, I spent quite a hilarious afternoon with one of my best girlfriends. Post-divorce and having been single for a bit, she decided to venture into the world on online dating, and at the advice of her younger sister, had created a Tinder profile. If you’ve been living under a rock (or are….how do I put this….my age or older!) and aren’t familiar with Tinder, it is basically an app where you “Swipe Right” for YES and “Swipe Left” for NO. That’s it! If you like the way a person looks, you swipe right – if you don’t, swipe left, and poof they’re gone.

We laughed at the ridiculousness of it all, while learning some powerful lessons around “personal branding.” Post on that topic to come later, but for now, let’s suffice it to say, if your profile picture is a bathroom selfie, or a picture of you lovingly & longingly snuggling your cat, you might need a lesson or two in branding!

Perhaps the biggest takeaway, though, was the quickness in which she swiped left or right….said yes or no…to potential dates. Without overanalyzing anything, she asked herself only one question: “Do I find him attractive?” – and, she went with her gut.

As entertaining as her foray into the online dating world was to watch, I kept coming back to how quick the user’s of Tinder’s decision making process actually is. Can things really be that simple? Is there ONE overriding question we should be asking ourselves when making other decisions in our lives?

Her Tinder adventure was months & months ago — yet, recently, in coaching sessions with a number of different clients, the “Swipe Left” phrase kept popping into my head. In each case, my clients – all successful, busy executives and business owners – were saying “yes” way too soon…and, way too often. They were saying yes out of obligation, out of fear, or out of habit. Yet, they were draining themselves in the process by adding too many things to their calendar or to their do list – items & events they had no interest in and that were actually taking away from the (often profitable and strategic) things they enjoyed and the people they preferred spending time with.

Too often we immediately jump to saying “yes” to people and things – to always “swiping right.” It is almost as if “yes” has become reflexive and we have lost all regard from what our gut is telling us. Time is the most precious resource we have – once it’s gone, it cannot be recovered. Further, the people you choose to surround yourself with have a dramatic impact on your mood, your energy and your performance. Why not be more selective when saying “yes” to something or someone?

What (or who) are YOU saying “yes” to that you really shouldn’t be? Before you jump to the quick (and often reflexive) “yes,” ask yourself the following questions:

Will this activity or event energize me, or drain me?
Could it improve my business or my life?
Is the person or people I am choosing to spend time with building me up & challenging me, or bringing me down?

Maybe it’s time for you to SWIPE LEFT….and, quick!

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