The Power of Saying No
28 December 2013
By Lindsie Arbeiter • December 26th, 2013 • 218 Views
I am a people pleaser. This is my confession. It feels nice to admit that in writing. It’s also not necessarily a bad thing in daily life, but do you know what is a better thing? Saying no!
Looking back, I’m not clear on exactly when I began taking on too many obligations and adding more and more commitments to both my professional and social life. Maybe it was after graduating university years ago and wanting to soak up every single life experience I possibly could. My motto back then and still is: “Let’s Carpe Diem it”! Seize every day and squeeze the juicy moments out of life. It would be such a pity to miss something amazing such as a late night out or a last minute road trip. No matter if I have every minute of every weekend booked to the max. At least I was making the most of my days off, right?
Maybe you can relate if fun is your major motivator. Maybe you are constantly buying Groupons to things like Spanish cooking classes or Scuba Dive lessons because it simply peaks your interest. Maybe you agree to meet friends at the gym to try a new fitness class a few days a week, or join a new book club because you think it will be a positive addition to your life. I think this way too.
“Yes, I’d be happy to house sit for you for two weeks while you are in Mexico.” “I would love to help plan your baby shower and fund it.” “No problem at all! I can fill in for your work shift today.” “You can count on me to coach the swim team this year”.
I believe that as women we tend to have a natural drive to be involved in everything. We get pleasure from agreeing to take on tasks for others to make them happy. We like to nurture and take care of situations for those we care about. Somehow all of this makes us fulfilled in some innate way…until it just doesn’t anymore.
In my case, I was naïve and did not even realize how much saying “yes” was no longer enriching my life. I knew that I was constantly tired and began to feel off balance and off centered with no downtime to unwind that I could call my own. I would feel guilty for having to say no...
By Lindsie Arbeiter • December 26th, 2013 • 219 Views
Until one day out of the blue I just said no. “No, I have to pass this time.”
And something magical happened.
No one resented me or got upset with me for not making it to our book club gathering. I let no one down. I took a bath instead while reading the book. And after that moment, I was hooked.
Saying no became my ticket to freedom. Freedom of having “me time” and being able to do whatever I wanted in the moment and change my mind at the last minute with no consequences. Spending relaxing nights at home felt so much better and more worthwhile now. I was not making promises that I knew I logistically would not be able to keep. I was simply having the foresight to not take on quite as much as I used to. Burning the candle at both ends had burnt me out, but as soon as I captured the power of saying no, I have felt nothing but revitalized.
If you are an overachiever or a people pleaser, I invite you try it sometime. Go ahead and click “no” to that Facebook event invitation. Politely decline the next opportunity that comes your way if you would rather take a nap. Give yourself permission to replenish, renew, and recuperate your energy however best suits you. The realization that my time is precious and that feeling balanced everyday makes all the difference was what ultimately gave me the power to just say no.
Lindsie Arbeiter is the video production coordinator at My Yoga Online. After a career of working in film and TV, she is happy to be a part of creating content that betters the world through yoga! She has a M.A. in Communications and a B.A in Television Production. She thrives on travel, dogs, reading, and culture.