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Life Hack #3 - Saying No

Hey everybody welcome back to the Infuse Your Future Blog.

 

An important aspect of healthy boundaries is time management. Setting personal boundaries around time is a wonderful way to practice self-care, part of saying “Yes!” to ourselves.

 

And a big part of saying yes to ourselves is about saying no to others. Sometimes we have a hard time saying no and then we spend our days feeling exhausted and stretched thin. We’ve all had those moments when we reflect upon something we’ve committed to out of obligation and say to ourselves in hindsight, “I should have never agreed to this.” It often brings up feelings of regret and resentment. 

 

So why do we say yes when we really mean no?

 

The first reason could be that we are seeking approval. When someone asks us to do something we don’t really want to do, our desire for their love and acceptance of us overrides our desire for self-care. It’s uncomfortable to face the fact that saying yes can come from a place of not wanting to let others down, especially when it’s our loved ones. We want to be there for them but if that means at our own expense something needs to shift.

 

Another reason we say yes may be because we’re being unrealistic about what we can really do. The inner superwoman or superman that lives inside of us thinks we can accomplish 1000 tasks a day without a hitch.  Then we realize we have put ourselves behind the 8 ball and we end up feeling frustrated that nothing has gotten done.  Being realistic about how much time things take and what we can really handle can help us say no to piling more onto our already full plates.

 

Saying yes when we mean no also means we are not weighing our own priorities.  By checking in before we say yes and asking ourselves “is this a top priority?” we can better discern weather or not we should commit.  Just knowing what our priorities are can help.  For example my kids are my top priority – so when someone asks me to do a favor I can ask myself if it will affect what I need to do for my kids and then decide if it’s something I can commit to.

 

Simply having the awareness of where to start saying No instead of yes will be a victory.  It’s good to gradually work this in and begin to gently say nowhere it is appropriate. It's not about saying no to everyone and everything. It’s about gradually moving into a place where you feel comfortable with not always having to say yes.

 

And remember, we don’t have to over explain ourselves when we say no.  For example if a friend asks us for a favor and that doen't work for us that day we can simply say, “I’m not able to help today.”  That’s it. We don’t have to say why we can’t help.

 

So here’s a challenge for you should you choose to accept. This week pay attention to each time someone asks you to do something and ask yourself if you really want to say yes or no. If you find yourself saying yes when you don’t mean it, reflect on why you said it. What were you trying to achieve by saying yes instead of no. Start practicing saying no gently where it feels appropriate.    

 

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into boundaries and how to practice holding them, check out my boundaries workshops at InfuseYourFuture.com.

 

Have a great week and start Infusing your Future!

 

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