We don’t give ourselves permission to say no very often. We are a group of people-pleasers. I know: I am guilty of this, too. Yet I continue to be astonished when people complain about, well, what they complain about. SO much of what they complain about can be resolved with a simple & firm no. Saying No is a large part of our discipline. What will you choose to say no to? To whom will you say no?
If you say yes to everyone else, you say no to yourself. And that will get you mediocre results. Worse, the people in your life will not get the best from you. They’ll get a fraction of what you offer when you are 100%. 💯 Don’t you want to be as close to 100 as possible, most of the time? I do. Your kid does. Your spouse does. The Boss does.
Saying yes to everything gets us pulled in dozens of different directions, with no one direction getting very much of our attention or effort or enthusiasm. Saying no gives us focus and concentration — not to mention energy. No equates to more energy. No allows us to conserve our reserves for later instead of walking around exhausted all the time due to all the people we’re trying to please. Imagine: getting some of your expended energy back simply by you saying no! Something so simple, so easy. We’ve just forgotten how to do it.
How did we forget how to do it? How did we forget how to say no? We slipped down the Yes slope, saying yes to everything and everyone so as to please them, to make them like us, or so we think. Others before self — at all times! Right?
No. Not at all times.
Most of the time, sure: others before self. Just not ALL the time. Others before self at all times leaves you depleted. This is not the outcome you deserve for putting others first.
What about your basic human needs and aspirations? What about the work-out? What about primal nutrition? What about a good night’s sleep? What about getting outside in the sun for 30 minutes? What about taking daily time for yourself, even if only for 20 minutes? You know, the fundamentals? This is not selfish. If you don’t give yourself enough time each day for the basic, positive, human behavior fundamentals, what are you thinking?
Please don’t be the martyr, especially the “Oh, woe is me…Look at everything I do for others so much that I don’t even make time for myself” version. No. That’s on you. No one is forcing you to do any of this. It all falls on you. Modern day martyrs end up depleted, dispirited and bitter. No one wants to end up that way. Shake it out and knock it off before you do more damage than you’ve already done to yourself.
Create your Stop Doing list.
Let’s return to the basics. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. This is your new No / Stop Doing list. Write the things you will decide now to say no to in the future in bullet point fashion. What will you choose to say no to today? What will you choose to stop doing today? This basic, yet powerful list will be your new guiding beacon toward future behavior for yourself and for how / what you will do for others.
This list draws upon Great Marketing for the new version of you: You 2.0. This list comprises the framework for what you will stand for and what you will stand against. This list will polarize people, and in this case, that is a good thing. (Yes, it can be good to polarize people because you want to attract the people you want to hang out with while repelling the others who would only bring you down.) You are teaching yourself and others what you will tolerate and what you won’t going forward. There is great power right here in this simple list you create. In fact, it should even feel powerful while you make it. This is a roadmap for your new behavior. Find something more powerful than that with a pen and paper.
When you’re finished, tape it to your fridge so that you see it multiple times per day. While some may find this cheesy, I don’t. And I don’t care, either, in the best possible way. Your immediate family — of all people — needs to know where you (and they) stand now. It is your duty to communicate it to them courageously, even if it is difficult or hard or they’ve always known you to be a certain way. Same thing with your colleagues and friends.
Also, as important, you need daily reminders of who you want to be every day. Do you want to be the old you, who lets things slide? Who doesn’t stand her ground? Who allows people to walk all over her and the rules she sets? Or, the new you, with new software upgrades, with new, designed-by-Apple-in-California, cutting-edge tech? Which one do you choose? 1.0 or 2.0?
This salient list — taped to the most important household appliance ever created — acts as the guiding beacon for the household. THIS is how mom / dad will now be. This is mom / dad v 2.0.
Watch out. I am no longer tolerating the Crap!
I will not bend my will.
I will not kow-tow to the small stuff.
I will remain vigilant.
I will stay the course.
I will hold the line.
I say NO.