Saying no. Just two teeny tiny little letters. Why are they so hard to get out of your mouth sometimes?
This post feels like a letter a need to write myself so I can highlight all I know about why I should be more selfish with my time and not feel guilty – and then take my own advice and implement. That easy right?
I honestly think this is something I have gotten a lot better at, but boy do I struggle! I think I am naturally a bit of a people pleaser and really struggle to put my own needs first or even consider my own needs before launching into the full commitment of whatever anyone else wants from me.
Here are my top tips for being more selfish. Which I will share with you but also I am saying this to myself at the same time!
Drop the guilt
We all need to stop feeling guilty about choosing ourselves, or our own wants/needs over someone elses. I often feel guilty when I say no to catching up with someone. But the reality is most of the time I end up overbooking myself and leave no time for recharging and self-care, and the repercussion of that means I struggle with life! It also means that in the moment I might not be as present as I am probably thinking about how I really need to be resting and recharging for example and then start to resent the fact I am there. Not ok!
Own your priorities
I think its really important to know and own your priorities. For example if you value family and you have a birthday dinner to get to but then something pops up at work where there is a last minute request – in that moment you have a choice (understanding that all things aren’t this ideal all the time) you either put your own priorities first and stick to your birthday dinner OR you put the company first and meet their request. There are many more examples. If you value fitness and being active, then that’s OK to want to leave at a reasonable hour from work to be able to get to your favourite class. Similar to the previous point, own your priorities and then ensure you don’t feel guilty about that.
Don’t over commit
We all know the feeling. You look at your schedule for the week and feel an uneasy sense of anxiety mixed with exhaustion. Yep, you have over committed to too much activity. There is an art to understanding how much ‘you’ time or ‘recharge’ time you need. I think its important to recognise and tune in, because once again there is nothing worse than having something planned in the diary and then feeling anxious about it all week because you know its eating into your beloved R&R time. Then not being present in the moment! Own your schedule, plan for it, and know your limits.
Overall, dropping the sense of obligation that we need to be everything to everyone I believe is the key. And secondly to that knowing that when we own our priorities and stick to them, we are then more likely going to enjoy and be more present for all the things we say YES too!
Sending love and a hole lot of GOOD LUCK!