I had a conversation with some friends last night about being more assertive and learning to say, “NO”! One of my friends laughed and said we better learn to say “NO” more often, or we will end up in therapy like she did. We laughed about it, but as I thought about it more, I knew that this is something that we all must learn to do, myself included.
I am a people pleaser. Many of us are, I think. Most of us want people to think the best of us, and we don’t want or like to let others down. There is nothing wrong with this. The problem arises when you feel overwhelmed and you realize that you may have too much on your plate to handle. Sometimes it is because we haven’t learned to say no enough. I do this a lot. I love helping other people out. I offer to lend a hand when I know someone needs it. But on occasion, when I am bogged down and stressed, I find that I have said yes to people to help with things that I don’t even want to do, and I do it out of guilt, or because I am trying to people please. This is not healthy. I understand there are things that have to be done sometimes that we may not want to do, but that is life. But for the things that we have a choice whether or not we want to do them, we need to choose carefully.
Assertive people seem to be less stressed and more confident. They do not let people step all over them. They choose what they want to participate in, and they say no to what they don’t. They most likely don’t feel as overwhelmed as all of the people pleasers of the world. If you feel overwhelmed right now and feel like you have no extra time, take a step back and reassess what you are doing with your time. If you frequently have extra commitments that you wish you never got yourself into, then it is time to step up and say no to some of them if possible. You don’t have to give anyone a lengthy explanation as to why you can’t do something, or why you don’t want to. Just thank them for the offer, but tell them right now is not a good time for you, and end it at that. Practice being more assertive, and standing up for yourself. You will see the rewards of being your own advocate.
Take the time to evaluate your schedule. A life with less stress, more freedom, and greater confidence in ones own self, awaits the person who can learn to be assertive enough to say NO when they want to. Your time is precious. Use is how you want to use it. Remove the unwanted stress in your life, and feel the freedom that comes with it. Just breathe today. Revel in the moments of today. Believe in yourself. You deserve the best for you, so whatever you must do to make that happen, do it. Just say NO, and don’t feel guilty about it. I promise it will make your life easier. Be bold, be brave, and live your life to the fullest.
Hope On. Journey On.