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  • Writer's pictureSarah M.



Have you ever agreed to do something even when you actually wanted to say no? I'm guessing we’ve all been there, especially those of us who are people pleasers by nature. We say yes to every request and invite, then end up wondering why we feel so burnt out at the end of the day. But why the heck are we agreeing to things that we do not want to do?

Sometimes we say yes because we feel guilty about saying no. We don’t want to inconvenience another person even if it’s inconvenient to us. We also say yes because we want to feel included and important, we want to feel like our lives are filled with meaningful activities.

The thing is that if we keep on saying yes to everything, we no longer have time to do the meaningful things that we do want to do. Instead, we’re end up doing what other people want us to do.

It's time to take back our precious time and get way more mindful about what we say yes to. Let me help you with the how.

First of all trust your gut. A lot of the times we know inside that we do not want to commit to something but we start saying yes out of fear; fear of loosing out or being looked at funny, fear of anger, being rejected or the uncertainty of what the other person’s response will be. But by listening to that little voice inside me, I know immediately whether to say yes or no to someone these days. ( It took me a while but I'm getting pretty good at it).

When you want to say no, be firm and direct, remember, you do not need to ask for permission to say no.

Ask yourself if the opportunity or request is going to add value. Will you be giving your full attention and potential for those involved? If the answer is no, let this one go.

This might sound selfish and there might be this false conception that putting our needs first is somehow a bad thing. But in order for you to truly use your time productively, in a meaningful way, you need to be comfortable turning down opportunities and requests because your well-being depends on it.

You do not have to lie if you are tired and don't feel like socializing, it's ok to say no.

Nowadays my well-being is something I prioritize above all else, because I know I’ll suffer the consequences which can often trickle down to those I care about. If something is causing me unnecessary stress, or making me overly anxious, I’m out.

If you’re in a situation where you’re asked to do something and you’re not comfortable doing it, it is perfectly ok to tell that person why. It's ok to not want to do or participate in something you do not feel comfortable doing. I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but constructively explaining why this doesn’t feel right will only lead to a better outcome for all involved.

CAUTION, if you continually say yes to people even when you want to say no, you’re inviting them to keep doing it which they probably will.

Sneaky people love to take advantage of those who don’t necessarily realize they’re doing it, so make sure you know what you will and will not tolerate.

Interrupt the ‘yes’ cycle, by using phrases like “I’ll get back to you,” this will give you time to consider your options. Having thought it through will allow you to say no with greater confidence.

Earlier in my life, I was the person who took on way too much. And though not all was my choice initially, I also wanted to succeed in 'everything', no one wants to come across as a slacker (which is a dumb picture we paint anyway).

And I understand that there are people who love the hustle and the bustle and that's totally fine, but if you don't feel like cramming your calendar and taking on ALL. THE. THINGS. you are entitled to scale back a little too.

Ask yourself what really deserves your time? What is going to give you energy rather than drain you? If something is potentially going to take away from the things that are important to you, say no. It really is that simple.

Maybe consider a compromise, sometimes all you need is to reschedule. If not now, then maybe some other time.

I understand that by saying no you may loose some friends and even great opportunities because of it but in the end your time is the most valuable asset you have. Do what is right for you.

What are some of the things that aren't really fulfilling that you could remove from your schedule this week? What will you say no to?



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