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  • Writer's pictureLauren Morris

Saying Yes Also Means Saying No

There is something beautiful and amazing when we say "yes" on stage as improvisers. We get our scenes going, we find our footing, and we have fun.

Many of us take this philosophy and apply it to our real lives off stage. Sometimes, we don't stop and realize that if we are saying yes, we then also have to say no.

What I mean is that committing to something, saying yes to a request, or agreeing to show up means we are saying no to someone else's request, ask, or project.

Ask yourself if you are saying yes to the things you want or need to do. Conversely, are you okay saying no to opportunities.

My priority is my family and AdLib. I love improv of course, but my obligation and passion focuses on the financial and spiritual health of the theater. That means I say no to lots of other things. A jack of all trades is a master of none is where I currently operate. People have their own paths and journeys and sometimes they intersect with mine, run parallel, or not at all.

Extending opportunities to performers at the theater means I'm aware I'm asking to say no to other opportunities that might come their way. It's up to them to decide which path is theirs to take. My expectation from them is the understanding that if they said yes to what I ask they are going to have to say no to others.

I don't just hold them to this, I hold myself to it as well.

Everyone needs to find what works for them. However, people need to be aware of what saying yes means. If you have said yes, then be committed, show up, do the work. If it doesn't suit you or you cannot make the commitment, say no with love, grace, and compassion.

If you said yes but it's now a no, be honest, make the change, move forward. Staying in the obligation of yes because it's just that, an obligation, makes everything harder for everyone. Change is part of life. Your life can be thought of as a series of improv scenes and at some point, every scene needs an edit.

Say yes to the mission of your own life and path.

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