Do you feel like a YES woman?
Is your schedule so full that you struggle to have a complete thought?
Do you dream of simplicity and, dare I say, more free time? (If you don’t even know what free time is, then your answer should be yes!).
You get busy with work, family and other commitments. You likely start to say “Yes” to things you don’t really want to do – because you’re afraid of disappointing someone, or because you know you “could” do it even though you don’t want to. Before you know it, you’re going a hundred miles an hour in different directions and resentment is starting to creep in.
Let’s pretend your life is a new house and you get to design and fill the interior to create your dream space. What colors would you use? What style? Would it be simplistic with a few choice accessories, or blinged out with all the things you love? What would you want to feel when you walked in your house?
Your life IS like that new house! You ultimately get to choose the style, elements and the overall “feel” of your life.
Problem is, we women sometimes forget we have that control.
You start feeling overwhelmed and stressed by all the must-do’s you have going on.
Self care? What’s that?
Family dinner at the table? Say what?!
Romantic date night? What year was that?!
Doing something YOU love to do? Hmmm.
Can’t even recall what it is you love to do? Been there.
It’s time to hit the pause button – you know, like you do when the commercials start because you just can’t stand to see that erectile dysfunction commercial one more time. (and why must they always show them during the day when my kids are around?)
I want you to grab a paper & pen and make a list of the things you committed to but didn’t really want to do. The one’s your mouth says “Yes” to while inside you’re screaming “No!” Then, after the word “yes” comes out, you feel yourself spiraling into that obligation hangover.
Seriously – start making your list right now. Use Notes on your phone if you don’t have paper handy.
How many things are on your list? 2? 3? 5?
Jot them down.
How many hours per week do these take up? (include driving time if necessary)
What could you do with that time if you had it available? (Other than replaying the dreaded conversation where the word ‘yes’ escaped your lips and beating yourself up for letting it slip. C’mon, you know you’ve totally thought that). Write it down.
Would you feel lighter / less stressed? (AKA instant mental weight loss)
Remember, you are the designer – this is your life and you get to choose what you fill it with or don’t fill it with.
If the word No is foreign to you, it is vital that you start learning how to use it.
If you’ve struggled with being a yes-woman, I bet you feel a sense of guilt when you say no. That has GOT TO END.
If we’re not willing to take care of ourselves and stand up for ourselves, then who will? Your time is no less valuable than any other person.
Learning to say no can be a process, so let’s start now!
Here are some examples of how to say no:
“I know I’ve taken this ______ on in the past, but this year/time, I’m not able to do it.”
“Thanks so much for thinking of me. I know that’s an important role that needs filled/job that needs done. I won’t be able to take that on, though. I’ve made a promise to myself and my family that I won’t be taking on anything else.”
“I appreciate you asking me and/or I know I’ve held this role/position in the past. It’s an important job that requires time and commitment that I just do not have available now, so I will not be doing it this time.”
Learn how to say no in a way that is clear, honest and feels good. Sometimes that takes practice – so practice it.
If you are designing space into your life to fill it with beautiful things like self care, family dinners, date nights and such, then mark those things in your calendar and treat them like all-access passes to a Taylor Swift concert. #pricelesstomy14yearolddaughter
Anytime anyone asks something of you (barring a life-and-death-emergency) that interferes with your priceless time, then you say NO. Here’s one way to do it:
“Thanks for asking, but I am booked at that time.”
Short, sweet, simple and honest. No further explanation needed.
As a recovering yes-woman who also was a perfectionist (barf!) I can tell you that the people/groups/clubs/blah blah blah that you say “No” to WILL survive. There IS someone else that can do what you were doing AND you will feel the monkey of burden and resentment jump off your back.
Go for it!
Get your time back.
Design some open space in that beautiful life of yours.
Then, if you want, fill that space with something you love that brings you joy.
What changes can you make in the design of your life? Where can you create more space and what are you gonna do with it? Let me know in the comments.