I'm learning to say no. And mean it. I'm learning to say no to others so I can say yes to myself. On the surface, this sounds selfish. But really, it's not.
I've learned the hard way that I need to take care of myself before I can take care of others. This is why I wake up at 5am and haul myself off to bootcamp. The first thing I do each day is take care of myself.
My energy is precious and I'm learning to protect it with boundaries and discipline. There are Energy Vampires who want to take, take, take. I can choose to let them suck me dry or I can choose to take care of myself.
Why don't I say no more often? I don't say no because:
- If I say no, they might not like me.
- I don't want to offend anyone.
- I'm scared that my self-worth is measured by my productivity so I'm always trying to do more.
- Since everyone is over-committed, maybe that's what I'm supposed to do, too?
I am learning that just because someone expects something from me doesn't mean I have to give it. It is so difficult for me to say no in certain situations that I've learned my best option is to entirely remove myself from that situation.
It's like being on a diet in a house full of cookie jars. Maybe I can say "no" the first 20 times I pass by the cookie jar, but eventually, I give in. It's better for me to live in a house with ZERO cookie jars. Or maybe just empty ones.
There is nothing selfish or wrong about taking care of myself. I have legitimate needs. I don't begrudge others their needs, why do I put my own needs last?
Two months ago I finally said no to laundry. There are seven people in my family. I could not keep up. I wanted to keep up. I've been trying and trying to keep up. But something had to give. I simply could not write a book and keep up with laundry for seven people.
I hired someone to help me with laundry.
That has been the best gift I have ever given myself.
I'm learning to say no so that I can say yes.