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Heather Hubbard


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Lesson 24

Why Saying Yes Means Saying No

“Like many women, I was born and raised a people-pleaser. I wanted to be viewed as a hardworking and helpful team player, and I genuinely wanted to give back and serve others. I also had a deep burning desire to achieve as much as possible. Driven and ambitious, I never wanted to say no to an opportunity that might advance my academic or professional standing.

That means I said “yes” a lot. Looking back, it’s hard to think of any requests or opportunities I turned down during the first decade of my legal career.

As could only be expected, I eventually began to suffer from burnout and exhaustion. When it got bad enough, I sought professional advice from coaches and counselors. During this time of wanting to do more but feeling completely exhausted, I learned an invaluable lesson—that every time I said “yes,” I was also saying “no” to something or someone else.”

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“Not just advice, but affirmation that so much of what we feel and have experienced has been felt and experienced by others.” – Nora Riva Bergman

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