Andrea Putting – Speaker, Author Podcaster

Andrea Putting

Speaker, Author & Trusted Advisor

Is Your Bucket Overflowing?

I was a yes person. Whenever someone asked me to take on a role. I’d say yes. A sucker for “I think you’d be great at this.” Of course, I would do it. You may be the same. However, I learnt a valuable lesson. I first had to learn to say no, In order to say yes.

In 2016, I attended a seminar with Michael Grinder, the world-leading expert in nonverbal communication. I sat at the front, to capture as much of the experience that I could. During the session, I sat glued to what he was teaching us. At break time, I made my way over the tea station. While I was making my cup of tea, Michael came up to me, “Do you mind if I give you some insights,” said this grandfatherly figure. “Of course,” I replied. I knew others were paying to have private sessions with him, and here he was offering some gold he had observed in me.

“You are an intelligent woman; however, you take on too much and don’t get enough sleep.” Well, he had me pegged.

On my way home, I counted up all of my projects. I had about 10 going at the time. Michael was right. There was just too much going on. I couldn’t put my best self into the things that were most important to me. I had to learn to say “No” to invitations that are going to get in the way of my greater mission in life.

Some of my projects filled me with light. It didn’t matter how much time and energy I put into it, I was constantly renewed and I could go on and on and on. Other things that I took on, drained me completely, leaving me exhausted. They absorbed my time and destroyed my energy. They took me away from those projects that I hold so dearly to my heart.

This is where I learnt the difference between self-sacrifice and self-fulness. The things I had said yes to that drained me. I took on out of some other sense than what I felt right about doing. There was some sort of obligation implied. I was doing it because someone else needed it or wanted it. It was not what filled my bucket.

If we look at a bucket and imagine water flowing into it. However, the bucket has holes in it and the water just pours out, leaving nothing behind. No matter how much water is poured into the bucket, it can’t be filled.

If we take another bucket, with no holes, and pour water into it, the bucket is filled. As more water is poured in, it overflows and it can share its abundance of water with all, while being full and sustained itself. This is how I see self-fulness. It is this continual flow of abundance that pours out to all around it.

While we could, as an alternative, choose to go into selfish mode and just keep it all for ourselves, this isn’t what fills us with joy. The flow stops and the bucket of water stagnates.

It is easy to get lost in a world of self-sacrifice and I fall back into it from time to time. I remind myself that I have to learn to say no, in order to say yes. I stop and realign myself with the things that do have my bucket overflowing. I’d much rather have my bucket overflowing and continue to give and serve.

When we give of ourselves, we find the greatest sense of joy and fulfilment. This is where my heart is. This is where I have authentic influence.

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