I’m doing research right now about healthy boundaries for an upcoming post (so stay tuned!) and as you’d guess, it’s caused me to become more aware of things that I need to say ‘no’ to in my life.
So often saying ‘no’ is portrayed as something negative when really I’ve come to see it as very much the opposite. What if saying ‘no’ was seen as life-giving, liberating and empowering? What if instead of seeing our assertion of boundaries as confrontational or shame inducing, we saw it as an act of kindness towards ourselves and others?
“While our lives are filled with countless opportunities, every commitment we make brings us one step closer or further away from our dreams.” – Kris Carr
In my own life I have been very conscious about what I am saying ‘yes’ to and whether it’s bringing me closer toward where I want to be or further away. And though what I am saying ‘no’ to may not be necessarily bad, it still may not serve me or my priorities at that moment.
What matters most to you? What are your highest priorities? Does your inability to say ‘no’ to things often mean that these priorities fall to the way-side or get forgotten about? Like Kris’ quote says above, there are an unending stream of opportunities – things we have a choice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to – coming our way everyday. The hard part is deciding whether or not these opportunities are inline with our highest priorities and values or whether they are distractions, energy zappers or even tools for procrastination.
Sit down right now and look at your day calendar or write out a list of all the things on your plate. What can you say ‘no’ to? What are the most important things on that list – the tasks that will bring you life or bring you closer to your vision of what you want to create in your life? By saying ‘no’ where you need to you will then have the time and energy for the things on your list that matter most.
What request has been made of you lately that even though it may not be anything negative (like baking cookies for the school bake sale) if you do it, will mean that you have to say ‘no’ to something that takes greater priority (like you getting to the gym to exercise for example).
I’ve nothing against baked goods, trust me, but I do have a problem with filling my life with so many ‘yeses’ that I begin to lose sight of what matters most to me. I have a problem with putting the need to be liked and to please others above the promises and commitments I’ve made to myself and those closest to me. Because when that happens, no one wins.
So here’s your green light to begin to say ‘no’ to the things that don’t take highest priority so that you can say ‘yes’ to what really matters most in your life.