25: Opt Out: Say No to the Good So You Can Say Yes to the Great

“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.

—John C. Maxwell

Why is it so challenging to say no to something good even when we know we have outgrown it? The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. We often accept “the devil we know” for longer than we should out of fear. Hey, at least there is some security and safety in our current devil. Who knows what lurks on the other side! And what if we can’t find a better one? What if we regret our choice to leave this devil behind? What if we are being too picky in the first place? Is the grass greener on the other side or not?!

These are the topics I explore on today’s Pivot Podcast. The precursor to every pivot is saying no to something. It could be a job, a relationship, a city, religion, social norms, habits, or even a perspective that is no longer serving  you. We know that to keep our email inboxes clean we have to opt out when messages no longer resonate—but how do we do the same in major life moments?


  • Why we hesitate to recognize when it’s time to make a change

  • Four common fears behind opting out

  • When the grass really is greener

  • Common pitfall: conflating a decision with the anxiety around communicating it

  • Four steps to carrying out a tough decision (and resulting conversations)

  • Antidotes to overwhelm: trust, surrender, curiosity

  • “Courage cookies” and why action must precede courage

  • Questions to help you reflect on:

    • Times you have opted out successfully in the past

    • What you have outgrown in your present

    • What is possible if you answer the call to change instead of staying in the same place?

Press play on the embedded player below or listen on iTunesSoundCloud, or Overcast: