If you’re anything like me, you know how hard it is to say no to friends, family, and other people you care about. Yes, I think I am superwoman and I think I can save the world, but it’s because I just want to help people as much as I can, especially those close to me. I feel bad saying no, even when I know in my heart, it’s for a good cause. However, I’ve learned that no matter how bad it makes me feel to say no, my health, my sanity and my peace will always be my first priority because If I am not at peace with myself, I cannot effectively help someone else. To add, it’s exhausting trying to help someone else if I don’t feel at peace because then I’m left feeling drained and even more unsettled than before I tried to help someone else.
Learning to say no was the first step, learning when to say no was the more important step for me. Once I learned when to say no, it helped me to be firmer and more confident that my decision was the best decision to protect me, my health, my sanity, and my peace. I want to share a few situations where I’ve learned it’s best to say no.
Say no if it’s distracting. If I have a goal set for myself, it can be a small or big goal, and I am consistently working toward that goal, and someone asks me to hang out or go somewhere and I feel it will distract me from reaching that goal, then I know I need to say no. If you are hanging out and finding yourself struggling to accomplish tasks and achieve your goals because you are distracted, learn to say no.
Say no if it takes up time you don’t have. Many of my friends have their own businesses and brands, so we don’t have much trouble when it comes to wasting each other’s time. However, I am very organized in scheduling time for tasks in order to reach a goal, and if someone is asking me for a favor or to hang out and I know it will take time away from what I’ve already planned, then I know I need to say no. If you are hanging out and doing favors for people, and you find that you barely have time for yourself, learn to say no.
Say no if you don’t have the emotional capacity. This is one I struggle with the most. Often times, I am the go-to-girl for advice for my family and friends about anything from life, career and relationships. I find myself lending a weak hand to hold or a weak shoulder to lean on because I don’t have the emotional capacity to take on someone else’s issues at that time. I have my own challenges and things that I go through in my personal life, and in order to be there and emotionally present for someone else, I have to make sure that I am well and at peace with myself. I learned that if I don’t have the emotional capacity to take on someone’s issues at that moment, then I know I need to say no.
Say no if it evokes uncertain or negative feelings. Is there someone that you know that every time you’re around them, you get a negative or uncertain feeling in your gut? It can be because of the things they talk about, some odd decisions that they make, some ways that they act or even just their energy. If you feel uncertain or have negative feelings around someone who asks to hang out, learn to say no. It’s so important to be careful who you let in your space. Keep positive energy and people around you who are uplifting, empowering and encouraging.
Say no if you just don’t feel like it. It’s okay to say no because you just don’t feel like it. Whether it’s because you had a long day or you just don’t want to, it is completely okay to say no. Again, I’ve made it my priority to protect and take care of me at all costs and I’ve learned that it is okay to say no because I simply don’t feel like it. Sometimes taking a day to yourself to relax, to be unproductive, or whatever the case may be, means that you are practicing self-care.