“No” is a complete sentence.’ – Anne Lamott
There is no justification or explanation needed.
When you are constantly pouring from your cup into other people or other tasks that don’t bring us a sense of fulfillment then we begin to feel drained. Saying no can help provide a balance in your life by preserving your energy when you need to. There is no need to explain or justify your reason for saying no to a task. Your reason for saying no is your business that you decide to disclose or to keep to yourself. Saying no also applies to saying no to ourselves as well. Saying no to yourself will provide personal boundaries that will contribute to your overall well being. Setting and maintaining boundaries with others and yourself helps preserve and protect your personal values from being compromised or violated.
I have been a “people pleaser” my entire life. I felt like in order to be liked or seen as valuable I needed to meet everyone’s needs no matter what. My needs were last on the list if they made the list at all. I would feel guilty or sad whenever I felt like I let someone down or if they even seemed slightly inconvenienced. I felt selfish if I ever put my needs above someone else’s needs. On top of all of that, I was experiencing burn out, I was tired even after getting sleep, I had frequent headaches, and my upper back was sore due
to tension caused by the stress of an overwhelming list of tasks. The increase of migraines and body pain was my wake up call that I needed to address this and make a change. Now I say yes when I mean yes and no when I mean no, well at least most of the time. This transformation did not happen over night and I still have to work at it.
When I started saying no to other people, at first they were shocked because I used to always be there to assist. As time went by they began to get used to the idea that I was no longer going to say yes to everything. I say this to say that don’t worry about other people, they will get over it and move on. Then, when I did say yes they would get excited about my involvement and I was able to truly be present or assist because I took care of my needs first. Saying no more often brought more significance to my yes as well as more success when it came to achieving my goals.
Contributed by Tara Trickler.