Do you say Yes to everything because it's really hard to say No?
I've definitely struggled with this, and in some ways I still do.
It can be really hard to honour your feelings and just say No. But it can be incredibly self-empowering too.
What's the result of saying "Yes" when you actually REALLY want or need to say "No"?
When you feel that you're saying "Yes" to everything, life can become VERY draining...and a lot of the happiness is drained away with it.
You may end up stretched WAY beyond your physical and emotional capacity. And the end result is often physical and emotional exhaustion through lack of self-care. You might also find yourself resenting others and being very hard on yourself for having these negative feelings. It's not a good place to be. It affects ALL areas of your health and wellbeing.
Being a people-pleaser has been my "thing" for most of my life. Most of it goes back to childhood, firstly, with feelings of abandonment (for me I think it was around my Dad leaving).....and also, probably not feeling worthy of being loved for who I was. I find it's the same for many of us.
So...WHY is it so hard to say NO?
Many of us just don't feel worthy enough of self-love, or love from others, so we're often in fear. We also learn the "people-pleasing" model when we're children...when "good behaviour" got us certain rewards, like acknowledgement, love & praise. It's all just patterning, and what we got used to doing.
It's also about FEAR.
For me, here are a few of the big ones:-
- Fear of rejection or hurting a relationship
- Fear of confrontation
- Fear of missing out
- Fear of not being liked
- Fear of being judged as selfish - this one is huge!
Do some of these resonate with you too?
So, for us people-pleasers, we would rather stick pins in our eyes than say NO to anything! Am I right!?
I've realised though, that saying NO.....gently, honestly and respectfully, is life-changing, and building this "muscle" is really important.
How has it changed my Life?
1/ It frees me up to do more important things......things like spending time with my husband and children, having "dates" with good friends and people who nourish my soul (I like to call them "my people")......and things like working on my business, seeing the clients that I know I can help the MOST......and things like having a massage and going for a walk by myself! All of these things make me happy!
2/ It reinforces to me that I'm OK just the way I am, and it makes me proud of myself, that I can respect my boundaries and ACT on my instincts.
3/ It reminds me that no one is perfect and that honesty is what counts..... respectful, kind-hearted honesty.
4/ It shows me that I can still be liked, because of my honesty and my boundaries, and this helps me grow as a person and allows me to inspire others.
5/ It's taking some of the "load" from my Nervous system and Adrenals, and this makes me less tired, less grumpy, much more energetic, and a better mum, wife, practitioner and friend.
HOW do we start saying No to the things that don't serve us?
Here are a few steps that I find helpful:-
- Start FEELING into your response to being asked whatever the "thing" is. Do you feel it in your gut? Your heart? Notice how it feels. Does it feel light and joyful? Or does it feel like tightness and dread? This is your Truth. Let it settle. And commit to acting on it.
- Acknowledge the feeling, and if you can't say NO straight out, ask for some time to sit with it, and give the person a time-frame in which you'll come back to them by.
- Allow yourself to be honest. This is hard in the beginning.
You may really like the person, just not the "thing". You might say something like "Well, linen parties are really not my thing, so I won't come, but I would love to catch up for a coffee or lunch in the next couple of weeks".
You might also say something like "I understand that this is important to you, and you need help with BLANK (the thing), but I'm not able to do that right now because I am committed to something else."
- Be vulnerable. You might say something like "In the past, it's been really hard for me to say no to things that aren't quite the right fit for me, and I'm practising being braver......so right now, I will say thank you, but it's a No for me".
Michael Hyatt says that "every time we say No to something that is NOT important to us, we say YES to something that IS". I love this!
Acting on our truth allows us to maintain our boundaries, which then allows us to "lighten our load".
It lessens our stress and overwhelm so that we can be happier and healthier. And then we can be an even better version of ourselves xx
Hoping that this helps you or someone you love!