Oh we live in such an exciting time, don’t we? Our lives are chock-full of beautiful people, pathways and pleasures. Our ability to instantly connect and communicate is heightened beyond anything we have ever known before and our opportunities and options are limitless!
But if you’re anything like me… You might not be very good at saying no to it all.
I’ve always been such a ‘Yes Girl’, always enthusiastic and excited about any opportunity that has shimmied its way into my life. I would dread letting other people down… Mostly out of fear of what they would think of me!
Do any of these sound familiar…
Reluctantly heading out for dinner with friends when you really need a night in on your own?
Constantly extending your work hours to be more accommodating for everyone else?
Committing to another project when you haven’t finished the last 5 you’ve started?
Offering to shout breakfast when you know you’re really stretching your savings budget?
Been there, done that. All of the above. Many times.
But thankfully, I’ve really realised how important it is to say no. I’ve realised how exhausting the constant social commitments can be. How depleting the long hours of work really are. How uninspiring it feels to say ‘yes’ to something that I really can’t afford – financially, mentally or energetically!
When we over-commit, our energy and vitality are compromised and we don’t show up in the world as our best selves. These overflowing plates of ours aren’t leaving much room for the good stuff; for space, connection, stillness and creativity. For quiet moments of reflection. For rest. For the relationships that really matter. To just BE.
So here are a few tips to get in the habit of saying ‘no’ a little more often, without letting anyone down – especially not yourself.
- Get real. Take a long hard look a your weekly schedule (in advance!) and be a little more ruthless with your most precious resource; your time. Are there any commitment clashes? Have you left some space for your self care practices? Are these To-Do’s really important to you – or could you trim the list a little?
- Ditch the FOMO. Believe me, you aren’t missing out on anything! Instead, you’re creating space for the things that REALLY matter. Trust that all the opportunities that are meant for you will come your way, at exactly the right time.
- Be kind, open and honest. We’re not using excuses or little white lies here. Lead with authenticity and the intention to build a respectful, trusting and truthful space in your relationships. That energy is electric and always.
- Remember that every time you say no, you’re also giving the other person permission to do the same thing in their own lives. A woman who can say no (with love), inspires other people to do the same. It’s a win win.
- Lastly, remember this: If it’s not a BIG YES, it’s a gentle no.
As always, this is a practice and it takes time to learn to listen to your gut and trust your natural instincts. Go easy on yourself. Rejoice when someone says no to you and celebrate the deep enthusiasm and joy that comes with a heartfelt, energetic YES.
Claire Baker is a certified coach, passionate writer and speaker and author of ‘She Is Radiant: Your 6-Week Wellness Adventure To Get Glowy & Feel Rad’. Claire guides vibrant women towards a life ripe with greater confidence, less stress, improved relationships and clear complexions. She’ll have you throwing out the scales, booking the flight, launching the blog – and falling back in love with your life. Go and say hi at This is Lifeblood, her online space to share her passion for all things nourishing, soulful and creative. You can also find her hanging on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.