Do you feel like you have to say “Yes” to any request that’s made of you? If your life feels like it’s out of control, you may be agreeing to do more than you really want to. Why? Think about a time that you said “Yes,” when you wanted to say “No.” What were your thoughts around that request?
Was there some fear in saying “No?” Often when we agree to do something that we don’t really want to do, there’s some type of fear involved — fear that we won’t be liked, fear that no one else will do it, fear that we won’t be asked again, etc.
Sometimes we say “Yes,” because we believe that the other person’s needs are more important than our own. Women particularly tend to have these beliefs. We’re often socialized from a very young age to keep our focus on the needs of others.
Whatever the reason that we say “Yes” when we really want to say “No” doesn’t matter. What matters is that we begin to be true to ourselves, and our needs. If we don’t want to do something, we need to learn to say so. Being able to express ourselves honestly can be very empowering.
Imagine the freedom you will feel when you no longer have to obligate yourself to everything that is asked of you! The sense of overwhelm will start to dissipate, and when you agree to something, it will be because you really want to do it. When our lives and days are not cluttered up with the things that have minimal meaning to us, we have space and energy to do the really important things.
It’s possible to change, to let go of the fears, and to remember that your own needs are important. But if these thoughts are very ingrained in you, it may be that you could use the guidance and support of a professional in making these changes. Whether you need assistance or not, learning to say “NO” is a very liberating and powerful thing to do.
Like any other change, it takes time and practice. Take little steps. Start with the small, unimportant requests, and then move on to the bigger ones. In time, you will become empowered to only say “Yes” when you truly mean it.
Until next time,