Being a ‘yes’ person only serves you to serve on others and leave yourself and your needs behind. This in turn only serves to make you dissatisfied with life, leaves you feeling unimportant, unappreciated, resentful and reduces the chances of achieving your goals.
Do you say ‘yes’ more than you say ‘no’?
If this sounds like you, you need to practice saying ‘no’ more often:
- You take on other people’s work constantly when you are at work.
- You stay back with short notice because your boss asks you to, almost all the time.
- You regularly miss out on doing things you love because someone else’s needs are taking over your time, such as children’s activities, work, helping a loved one, someone needs a favour or you are constantly waiting others to do their thing, before you can go out and do yours.
- You are feeling like you are missing out.
- You feel you have no joy.
- You have dreams and goals, but something always seems to get in the way of your chasing and achieving them.
- Every time you start doing something for you, something happens and you have to stop.
Saying ‘no’ sets boundaries:
- Boundaries in anything are used to set rules, maintain safety and balance, and ensures there is fairness across the playing field, whatever that might be.
- When you fail to set boundaries, anything goes. That means there is no clear path, no direction, and the chance to reaching your destination is minimal.
- When you constantly say ‘yes’ you teach others that you are not important enough to be considered in the equation.
- This means that the next time and the time after that, they need you, they assume you will be available and therefore will be upset, if you are not.
- Being a ‘yes’ person you won’t want to upset them, so you keep giving in, even when it isn’t convenient or downright inappropriate.
- You would prefer to sacrifice your own needs to avoid upsetting that person(s).
- This eventually becomes a vicious circle, and the longer it goes on, the harder it is to get out of.
- The longer it goes on, the more miserable you start to feel.
- You feel unappreciated, taken for granted.
- You feel unimportant.
- You lack the confidence to speak up.
- You then start the resent that person(s) because of the way you are made to feel, though you don’t realise, they aren’t making you feel that way; you created that yourself, when you failed to say a few ‘nos’.
- Boundaries inform others what your limits are. That way you have balance between you both.
- When there is balance, there is contentedness.
- Along with contentedness comes internal peace and happiness.
- It also frees you up to get your own things done, so you start to become more successful in anything you are striving towards.
- You will be able to start working on your goals, without interruption, and actually achieve some of them!
Practice saying ‘no’:
- The first time you say ‘no’ you will be waiting anxiously for the repercussions. You will assume you have upset the other person, or put them out, or any other reason their situation is more important than yours, in your mind.
- And they may genuinely be upset; after all, you taught them you are at their beck and call. You created that obligation.
- After you have said ‘no’ a few times to them however, they will be used to it and learn that it is not only acceptable, it is in fact perfectly ok.
- Here are a few ways you can practice saying ‘no’:
- If someone suggest somewhere to eat, and you don’t feel like eating that cuisine, say so. Say no and suggest somewhere else. Why can’t you go where you want to? Why do you have to go where they want?
- If your boss asks you to work back, and you have training to attend, say ‘no I can’t tonight but I would be happy to [insert a day/time that works for you]’.
- If a colleague asks you to take on more work simply respond ‘no I don’t have capacity’.
Saying ‘no’ is not ‘selfish’, it is ‘self-care’:
- If you are constantly putting yourself and your needs second, it will eventually lead to your own demise.
- In order for you to survive, to be happy, to be healthy, and to feel worthy in your life, you need to look after yourself. After all, you cannot give from an empty glass.
- If you keep giving, and you start to feel empty, what else will you have to give?
- You will eventually be no good to yourself or to others, you will be empty.
- In order to be able to continue to serve others, under your terms, you need to fill your cup first.
- You need to set boundaries, and learn to say ‘no’ when you are unable to serve them.
- For example, if you want to lose weight, and get fit and healthy, you will need to improve your nutrition and exercise. If serving others stops you from being able to achieve that, you will not only eventually grow resentful (which defeats the purpose of serving others), you will also remain unfit and unhealthy, and not achieve your goals.
- By looking after your own health and well-being, by serving yourself first, then serving others, you will feel more fulfilled within yourself and therefore be willing and able to give more to others.
- Think about when you are on a plane; in an emergency, you must fit your own mask on first before helping others. It is part of the emergency plan.
- Life is exactly the same.
Learn to say no, and lead a happier, more satisfying and more successful life.
- Coach Terri