Being a “yes” person is great, right? You are constantly trying new things, meeting new people and learning about yourself and the world around you. Your life is filled with excitement and events and plans.
Until you’re exhausted, overwhelmed and have forgotten to take care of yourself. Womp womp.
You see, being a yes person can be so beneficial. We learn so much from stepping out of our comfort zones and exploring new opportunities. But being a yes person can also drain us. It can take our power away. We stop thinking about what we need in the moment, and focus on why the gala next week will be “good for business”, or why that coffee date is “necessary” to keep up our friendships alive. Hint: it’s not – real friends will understand if you need an evening to simply ‘chill’.
But what about you? What about your mental, physical and spiritual health? We sometimes forget to consider what we need when we’re used to doing things for other people or for reasons other than our own happiness and enjoyment.
I’ve been in this position before, many times. I used to feel guilty about it, but now I realize that guilt leads to shame, and there’s no shame in needing a little downtime. Life is busy! And while the below list isn’t exclusive, here are three times that I’ve needed to be a No Person in my own life.
Three key times to be a “No” Person
You’re burnt out, adrenally fatigued, exhausted and overwhelmed
I’ve talked about burnout a few times before, but usually if you’re in this state, you’ve been exposed to chronic stress for a long period of time. Chronic stress can have a number of effects on the body causing a wide variety of symptoms, but as you become more and more burnt out, you feel exhausted and overwhelmed.
People who constantly say “YES” to every little thing that comes their way are often burnt out and exhausted. Every time a friend wants to spend time with them, they find a spare moment in their schedule to make it happen. Every time they get an invite to a fun event, they shift their work around it – even if it’s at the expense of their own downtime and rest. Does this sound like you?
If so, you would likely benefit from practicing the word “no”. Learn your limits and recognize where you are at. Can you take on another opportunity right now? Can you find time in your schedule? If it’s hard, say no. Not now, life is too busy.
What you need is an open schedule where you can relax and recover from the burnt out state you’re in! I love the term “white noise”. We all could use more white noise in our lives. These are days where you have nothing planned and you’re free to just be.
You’re always taking care of other people and forget to take care of yourself
If self-care is a foreign concept to you, and you’re not yet burnt out, you may be on the fast-track to getting there.. (want to know if you’re burnt out? Get my free questionnaire here and find out if you may be experiencing burnout, and how you can begin to manage it!)
So many people forget that self-care is essential for optimal health – mental, physical and spiritual. Taking time to be with yourself, enjoying alone time, and relishing in quiet is key for our bodies to reset!
But if you’re constantly taking care of other people, making sure everyone else is happy, and putting their needs before your own, then you need a break. A serious break that requires a good dose of regular self-care!
Instead of always saying yes, try checking in with yourself first: how do I feel? Can I afford to take on one more thing? Am I still getting my own alone time to rest and relax? If so, go for it! If not… well, maybe this time it’s a “no” so you can focus on catching up with yourself instead.
You’re worried that you’ll miss the “big” opportunity
I’ve mentioned Universal Laws before, and today I want to talk about the Law of Opportunity.
To recap, universal laws are principles by which everything in the universe is governed. The universe, and everything within it, exists in accordance with these laws. Chances are you’ve heard of the Law of Attraction, where “like attracts like”. You’ve probably seen this over and over again in your life, too!
The Law of Opportunity suggests that whatever opportunity comes around for you, is meant for you. If you are unable to take it, and the opportunity vanishes never to be seen again, it was never meant for you in the first place. If, however, the opportunity was truly meant for you, it will reappear when you are ready. It may look different, or be disguised, but if the lesson is meant for you it will come to you.
For those who feel scared that saying “no” means closing the door on an opportunity, know that if it’s meant for you, it will come around again… Perhaps slightly differently, but it will teach you what you are meant to know.
Getting used to saying “no”
Getting used to saying no can be hard. It can feel selfish at first, especially if you’re saying no because you need a break. Just know that it is the least selfish thing you can do.
You can’t pour water from an empty glass. Just like you can’t pour love, time and devotion into your life if you don’t refill your reserves.
Taking time for yourself is not weak or frowned upon. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your health, and adopting a rewarding self-care practice is incredibly powerful.
Next time you have to say no, remember that you’re doing everyone a favour. It’s not just for your greater good, but for the greater good of everyone in your life. When they eventually see you again, thriving and feeling amazing, they will understand.