I struggle a lot with saying no.
This isn't a post about consent (though that's definitely a worthwhile topic), but instead about a tendency I notice in myself and my clients to overcommit. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is say no.
So many of us live with a scarcity mindset – the idea that there isn't enough of any one thing, so when we're given an opportunity we feel the impulse to grab it, to snatch it up before someone else comes along. This logic is not only flawed, but it's dangerous. When we never say no, we end up with too much on our plate, and oftentimes at least a few things that we don't even really like.
My fabulous friend Michelle Ward often tells me to make a start, stop and keep doing list. If you're finding yourself overwhelmed and perhaps neglecting some of the things you love (time with friends, self-care, reading, sleep), take a few moments to make one of these yourself.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes. Take out a piece of paper or open a blank document on your computer and brain dump everything you did for the past month. Work tasks, projects at home, exercise commitments, friend and family time, etc. Really think about the things that took up your valuable time and energy and get them on the page.
- On a new page, make three columns: Start Doing, Stop Doing, Keep Doing. You can see where this is going, right? Sort every item from your first page into one of those columns on the second page. Give yourself permission to let go of the 'shoulds' your brain is going to start throwing at you. With each item, ask yourself 'Do I want to be doing this? What do I get out of this? Does this fill me up or leave me feeling drained?' Not into it? That goes in the STOP DOING column, my friend!
- Leave this list somewhere that you'll see it regularly. Treat it as sacred. You've only got 24 hours in a day, and this is your manifesto for keeping that time to spend in the ways YOU choose to spend it.
I'd love to know how this goes for you. Feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you're ready to make serious changes to your health and wellness you can schedule your free 30 minutes consult right here.