Have you ever found yourself saying yes to something you don’t really want to do? Then spending the whole time hating it and wishing you’d said no because you have so many other enjoyable things you could be doing instead? I bet we all have.
Why do we say yes to things we really want to say no? It comes down to that being a ‘good person’ thing that is quite the ideal to live by now. We don’t like letting people down, we want to do the right thing by our friends or family. Be available 24/7 to help out when needed. This must make you a good person right? What defines being a good person though? Who is actually setting this standard? I’ll tell you. You are.
You are in control you’re your life. No one else is, you are the one in the driving seat. No one else can suddenly jump into you’re body, kick out your soul and start making all the decisions for you. Why do we have such a hard time saying no then? We clearly not in control are we?
Let me share my story, I am a reformed yes person. I like to please people, I am here to serve and assist others. It makes me tick. I am happy to help. I am still all the above but now I have boundaries. I always used to say yes to everything just to make other people happy and be ‘a good person.’ However I was saying yes to things I didn’t want to do or didn’t have the time for. Over giving and over stretching myself. I ended up resenting the people because I felt they were being so demanding. They didn’t know they were putting on me because I just kept saying yes. Isn’t that an indication I was happy to help or else I’d say no right? It caused me stress and anxiety. Then I hated myself for bringing it all on.
Funnily enough my observations revealed more to me. The friends who were constantly calling on me were also the one’s always telling me how busy I am, “I can’t believe how you fit everything in, how do you do it? You’re super women.” If they noticed how busy I am why were they demanding I take on even more from them? That’s simple, I didn’t say no or stand up for myself.
Then why didn’t I stop? I didn’t realise I was doing it. It was a repetitive cycle of saying yes. I was so far in I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. I was constantly dropping everything I was doing, all the things I wanted to do, to meet the demands of others. Some were unpaid jobs for things that I should have been charging for. Somewhere deep inside it did feel good that people would call on me if they were in a fix. I love helping, it made me feel wanted and in demand. I felt that I must be really good at what I do if people are calling on me like this at a drop of a hat. I’d fallen in the trap of wanting approval from others. The only approval I need is from myself. Self love people!
Once my wake up call came it really opened my eyes. I was hurting myself so much by being that ‘yes person.’ I needed to love myself enough to say no and spend my precious time doing what I love the most. When love is not the centre point of everything you do then you’re not being authentic to yourself. You will feel unbalanced and life won’t flow. Who wants to live like that?
My biggest realisation was indeed people do value my talent, they like me enough to want to spend time with me and that’s why they ask me to help them out or go places with them. What I didn’t figure at first was if I said no to being ‘on demand’ then these people valued me enough to wait till I had time or respected my choice that I didn’t want to accept their kind invite. Those who didn’t want to wait or got grumpy I wouldn’t go out with them I should wave goodbye too. They’ll always find someone else to help them out who has the time so you don’t have to feel bad. No one should have the right to make demands of you and make you feel guilty.
Setting boundaries and realistic time scales really helped me. Once I learned to do this then I was happy again to help out as it was on my terms. Now I dose myself up with self-love and honour my needs it makes me a stronger person for those around me. It’s not my job to make others happy they have to do that for themselves, just like I’m doing for myself. It’s okay to say no, you might struggle at first but give it a go you’ll feel so much lighter and brighter for it.
Love Seren xx