Learn to Say No

To boost your energy, it may mean learning to say no. What have you verbally said yes to, with a smile on your face, in the past few weeks? All the while as the words were flying out of your mouth your insides were screaming NO WAY and your teeth were clenching and grinding together in utter disbelief at your willingness to take on one more thing!   

This vivid description comes from lots of experience. I’m curious; does the description resonate with you?

Learning to say no can be a real challenge for many of us. We naturally want to help, we want to make a difference in the world and nurture others, however if we keep saying yes when we really mean no, we may find ourselves feeling depleted and overwhelmed. Sound familiar?

Let’s do a check in, how are you currently feeling? How energized and full of life do you feel today? If you are feeling stretched thin and not feeling successful in what you are currently doing, here’s a strategy that has worked for me many times and continues to work for my clients.

Take a moment and generate a comprehensive list of all of the places you are giving of yourself and your time. Here are a few items that could be on the list:

  • Board and committees you serve on

  • Projects you are working on

  • Social events you are organizing

  • Volunteer hours

  • Family commitments

  • Commitments with friends

Okay you get the picture. The list can be endless! Once you have your list, rank each of the items based on how much joy they bring into your life. Use a scale of 1-10 with 1 meaning the item does not bring you any joy at all to 10 meaning it brings an incredible amount of joy to your experience in life.  

Locate your 1, 2 & 3’s on the list and let’s take a deeper look at them. What would you like to do about these? What would your life be like without them? Is it possible to give them up to create more space in your life for more of the 4-10 items on your list?

I get this can feel very uncomfortable and scary to give something up. We all take pride in thinking everything we do is absolutely essential and important and without our effort the ______ (you fill in the blank) would fail, yet our heart is just not in it.

The reality is if we release what doesn’t bring us joy, often this will open up time and space for us to contribute in a much greater and more meaningful way to a cause which truly brings us unlimited joy and is aligned with our values and who we are as a person.

Learning to honor and value your time by saying no when we mean no takes practice. It presents us with an opportunity to manage the doubts and questions as they begin to haunt us, “What will people think about me for giving this up?”

What if you took a breath and decided to do it anyway? Try testing this out with something small to see what happens for you. You may notice as you become more comfortable with saying no, all of a sudden when you say yes it creates a whole new sense of energy and excitement!

If you would like to talk about your list and what you would like to be able to say no to in your life so you can create space to be able to shout a joyous yes again. Please click here and sign up for a free discovery session with me today.