This past year, I have focused a lot on self-care and personal growth but my biggest challenge yet has been learning to say, “No”.
I have always had trouble saying no to people and setting boundaries. I consider this one of my biggest weaknesses. This trait falls within my anxiety disorder and my fear of disappointing people. Feeling needed and looking for validation have always felt important to me, but I have also recently noticed the toll that it is taking on me. When I spread myself too thin for others, I do not have any energy to take care of myself. And the truth is that I can’t help others- if I don’t help myself first.
I know I am not the only one out there who struggles with this. I also realize that it is hard to realize when you are doing this and how you can step back and focus on yourself. I have created a small list of tips that I am happy to share with you. I use these to evaluate situations and ensure that I am taking care of myself first.
1. Know your limits.
There is always a choice. People may be disappointed but the truth is that it is your choice where you spend your energy. There is no punishment for setting boundaries and only doing the things that feel right.
2. Be comfortable with the word “No”.
For me, I must first be comfortable with my decision before I can relay an answer to someone. It is okay to take your time to consider a request.
3. Don’t feel that you need to provide excuses or reasons to anyone.
I like to be empathetic but also assertive when I set boundaries. What I try to avoid is giving a list of “reasons” because I feel that this opens up a counter-argument. I typically find that if I am empathetic and assertive, people do not question my answer – which makes the process easier for both sides!
4. Set your priorities.
As I mentioned above, it is part of my personality to want to help-people. This is not a trait I want to give up, but I want to be in control of it. Knowing your priorities will help you control the things that you take on.
5. Make a mantra.
I use many mantras daily as part of my self-care practices. One of them is specifically geared towards this topic. I repeat the following mantra when I am faced with difficult questions or dilemmas…
(PS. I made this graphic for you! Feel free to save it and use it as your background OR print it and hang it somewhere you will see it daily!)
I hope that some of these tips help you take control of your life and set boundaries. This is a topic I am sure we will continue to touch upon through my journey!
Have any other advice? Shoot me a message!