You have done it again! You’ve said ‘yes’ to something you don’t really want to do, or you just don’t have the time to do. There are countless reasons why we make ourselves available to do things that we don’t want to do. In some instances, we want to be agreeable and liked. In others, it’s easier than having a difficult conversation or disappointing someone.
In these instances, you may be saying ‘yes’ at the expense of your own happiness, morals, culture, values, and in some cases, your own health.
Next time someone asks you for something, before you agree, take a moment to pause and listen to your body. Are your shoulders tense? Is your stomach churning? Do you feel like biting your nails or doing something else you tend to do when your nervous? These are important cues from your body that this may be something you don’t really want to do.
Being agreeable or saying ‘yes’ isn’t necessarily a bad quality. It can mean that you’re empathetic and want to help out others. It’s when you’re being too agreeable that others can take advantage of you. Anyone who suffers from the stress of over commitment can help themselves by following these simple strategies for saying no.
Identify What is Important to You
Before you can become good at saying ‘no’ are you aware of what’s really behind all those choices to overpack your schedule with more obligations than you have time for?
Life is short. Consider focusing your time on the things that are most meaningful to you, your family, and your community.
When you’re feeling pressure to say ‘yes,’ and agreement feels easier than taking a stand, just think of what is most meaningful to you. If the request means spending even less time doing something that is important to you, focus your attention on what’s most meaningful to you. This can encourage you to say ‘no’ and keep your priorities straight.
Know Your Triggers
You may be agreeing to a request for your time simply because you think you should, without taking the time to really consider why you think you should, and if this is really your responsibility to take it on. The next thing you know, you’re stuck with another obligation that’s eating away at your schedule, your happiness, and your well-being.
It takes significant self-awareness to catch yourself in action and create change. When you seek to identify what is triggering how you feel in the moment, you give yourself the chance to feel differently if you want to. You can download a list of emotions and a timetable to help you identify what you are feeling and provide clarity on how to change your response.
Learn to say ‘no’
Saying ‘no’ is easier said than done. As we’ve all experienced, when guilt, fear, or anxiety are motivating your decision-making process, chances are your vision might be clouded. Here are three principles to help you move towards achieving better balance.
- Self-love. If you put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, you will become mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained. Encourage a healthy balance by focusing on what is most meaningful to you and brings you harmony and life balance. The key is learning to balance your desire to be kind and courteous to others with your own need for balance and downtime.
- Accepting what you cannot control. It’s human nature to want to be liked by others, but it’s inevitable that you will meet people who dislike you. It’s hard not to take it personally. However, being liked by everyone is not as important as spending time with the people you love and doing the things that make your life meaningful.
- Set healthy boundaries. Living with no boundaries may sound exciting, but it can actually be very unhealthy. Healthy boundaries can help you establish priorities and manage your time better. The first step to setting boundaries is to personally validate your own feelings and priorities. That means allowing yourself to think and feel the way that you do, without judging or putting yourself down. The second is to surround yourself with a support system that will tell you the truth, encourage you, and hold you accountable for the changes you are trying to create in your life. Setting boundaries shows that you respect yourself, which makes it more likely that others will respect you too.
- Any.do – allows you to create reminders, events, to-do lists, notes and more to help manage your daily schedule effectively.
- Remember The Milk – manage everything you have to do, and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.
- Focus Booster – break up your schedule into manageable chunks.
- Stop, Breathe & Think – guided meditation and breathing exercises to destress and get in touch with your thoughts and feelings.