So often in life we end up with too much on our plate. We spend our days trying to fit everyone in and aim to please everyone. If we are not careful our days fly by and we don’t feel we have spent any time doing what we really want to do.
To be happy ourselves and to make others happy we need to look after our own needs first. If we try and look after others when we are not in good spirits we can end up being resentful. You can tell the difference when someone does something out of obligation rather than because they really want to, somehow you can just sense it. If you pick up on this then you really don’t feel good about it, you can almost feel offended. So doing things for the right reasons is key to us making others happy.
The answer is to be mindful about planing our lives. Rather than slipping into automatically answering ‘yes’ when ever anyone asks us to do something we need to think carefully about whether we really want to do it. Once we have committed ourselves to doing something we can find it really difficult to back out, no one likes to be a ‘let down’. If you can say ‘no’ from the beginning it makes things much simpler.
Many of us feel uncomfortable saying ‘No’, guilty even. But why? Perhaps because our mental chatter takes us to our imagination and a scenario which is not as we would like. We might imagine that the other person will like us less if we say ‘No’, that they might not ask us to do things in the future, we don’t want to miss out. All sorts of catastrophes may develop in our minds. These are just thoughts though and not the reality of the situation, so recognising this can be a really useful first step in addressing the habit or always agreeing.
Here are some top tips for learning to say no…
1) Keep a diary. If your instinct says that you do want to do whatever is on offer then say you will check your diary. This will give you a couple of minutes breathing space to let the request sink in and so you can reflect on whether you really want to do it.
2) If you know straight away that you don’t want to do what ever has been offered to you then be honest but kind. Thank the other person for asking you, tell them you value the fact that they thought of you if you do. Even say it’s not your sort of thing if that’s how you feel. You will feel an amazing sense of liberation if you are honest, much more so than if you make an excuse.
3) If you are prone to overbooking yourself and making your days too full on then tell the other person. Almost everyone can understand if you explain that you are a bit too hectic. Make sure you are being truthful and the other person will pick up on this and respect you for it.
4) Book some ‘you time’ in your diary. When you go to check it you will then have a reminder not to commit to too many things.
5) If the guilt factor kicks in don’t rush to change your mind. Take some time to reflect. Think through the consequences that you are imagining in your mind. Then pause and think more logically, will that really happen?
Making mindful decisions about how we want to spend our lives can be revolutionary. So many of us spend our says doing what we think we ought to do, feeling obliged to do them. Take a pause and look at things anew, you may be surprised at the decisions you make and the happiness that brings. Come on a Revitalise Day to get thinking straight and making good choices.