Are you a yes-man (or woman)? Do you have a hard time saying no when you are asked something or invited somewhere?
I used to be a yes-woman. I felt like I *had* to say yes…like I was letting that person down if I said no. In fact, I still struggle with it sometimes.
And you see that to do list?! ^^ Yeah - that was me...I was over-taxed and stressed and unhappy!!
But let me tell you how freeing it was when I realized the only person I was letting down was myself! And NOT when I said no!!!
I used to over-book myself…over-extend myself past the point of exhaustion. I would look at my calendar and become overwhelmed just looking at all the things I had scheduled. And I would start to resent the things I had going on…they would no longer be fun. The things I used to love would become chores…painful and boring.
How does that sound any fun?!
It. Was. Not. Fun. At. All.
This came up for me this week when a friend asked me to dinner. My original response was a resounding YES! I haven’t seen this friend in MONTHS!!
However…after a longer than originally planned Monday and a very packed Tuesday (think getting home late both days), I was looking ahead in my schedule and realized I needed to be home Wednesday night in preparation for a full schedule on Thursday and Friday (whew…that’s a lot even just writing that!!).
And I knew that while I would have fun seeing my friend, I wouldn’t be 100% focused on catching up with her and be in the moment…and that wouldn’t be fair to her! So I asked her for a rain check…and she was perfectly fine rescheduling to next week (when my schedule is far less busy!!). And by doing this, I will be fully in the moment, fully engaged with her, and in the process, be a better friend to her and a happier me! :)
Before I learned this very valuable lesson, I would have crammed it all in…I would have been stressed and grumpy and tired (because I would have to stay up later to get everything done). And in the end, the only person that hurt was ME!!
I understand that it is hard to say no…I hate feeling like I am letting people down.
But let’s be realistic here. *Everybody* is busy…and saying no doesn’t mean you are letting anyone down. It means you respect and value your time enough to know your limits!
Now, there’s a difference between saying no and being rude (that’s just no bueno), and saying no respectfully.
Like with my friend, I originally said yes (thus over-extending myself), but had to go back and dig myself out of the hole. But I did it in a way that let her know she was totally worth my time, and that I wanted to be able to give her my full attention when we did end up getting together.
In the end, we both win. And I am so excited to see her!!!
Learning to say “no” is vitally important to your sanity and health. Often when I say “yes” to too many things, it is at the expense of my down time and/or time with my family.
Here’s another important point about saying no… “No.” is, in fact, a full sentence. You don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t have to justify it. If it doesn’t fit in your schedule, say no.
I want to say yes to everything…I wish I could be everything to everyone and be everywhere all the time, at the same time. But there’s only one of me. And I can only do so much. I don’t like admitting it, but it took me far longer than it should have to learn that I can’t be everything to everyone or be everywhere all the time.
This 100% bears repeating: There is only *one* of me. Just as there is only *one* of you.
So you have to take care of *YOU* first! If you are overbooked and over-extended and unhappy and drained, how can you possibly be anything to anyone?! You HAVE TO put yourself first and learn that saying “no” is absolutely, 100% okay!!
No ifs, ands, or buts about it!!
This will be so freeing and powerful for you and in your life. Try it out. Start small if you are nervous or feel bad about it.
“No, thank you,” is okay!
“I appreciate the offer, but I’m not interested,” is okay!
“I can’t then, but I am available X day,” is okay!
Even if you have NOTHING scheduled during the time you are asked, it is still okay to say NO!!! It is okay to put yourself and your schedule first!
I hope you’ve had a beautiful day, and are enjoying the beautiful weather we’re having in VA Beach!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with saying no. Comment below your thoughts! :)
With love and wellness,