For a two-year-old, saying no is simple. Eat your greens. No! It’s time for bed. No! Put your toys away. No! But it seems saying no becomes much harder with age.
As we grow up we’re taught manners, and saying no is no longer an appropriate response. What’s more appropriate is “yes, of course, with pleasure”. But, saying no can be empowering, it can help us focus on our own needs and, ultimately, saying no to someone else really just means we’re saying yes to ourselves. Now it’s time to channel your two-year-old self and discover the power of saying no.
In an age where we work fast, eat fast, walk fast and play fast, it’s no wonder we’re taking on more than we can chew. But how can we reorganise and re-focus our lives and take back control? By saying no, of course. Those two simple letters can create space and happiness in our lives and fast, and here’s how.
Firstly, if you’re feeling like you’re taking on too much, take a step back and find out where you’re spreading yourself too thin. Are you taking on too much at work? Do you need more support from home? Are you spending your spare time doing something you don’t enjoy? Take a look at all the areas of your life and take note of where you need to let things go.
Section the areas of your life into parts — work, family, friends and “me time”. Does one, or several, of these areas feel out of balance? Are you spending too much time focusing on one area and not enough on the others? These areas that are out of balance are the areas you need to say no to and taking note of this will put you in a better frame of mind to say no when the moment comes.
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Now it’s time to put all of this into action. We know what areas we need to focus on, we’ve organised what areas of our lives we need to pay more attention to and now we need to follow through. If your work-life balance isn’t right and your workmates invite you out on a Friday night, be okay with saying no so you can spend the evening with your friends or family. If your girlfriends want to spend the weekend shopping with you, but all you want to do is stay in bed with a good book, then be okay with saying no. Feel empowered by saying no and remember all you’re doing is making your priorities a priority.
Keep it real
Saying no isn’t about letting people down, or about not being a good friend or workmate. Saying no is about empowering and honouring ourselves, it’s about doing what feels right based on our own needs and desires. Saying no really just means we’re saying yes to what we really want and there is nothing wrong with that. So, the next time you’re asked or invited to do something, and you just know it’ll be taking time away from something you love or need to do, remember to channel your two-year-old self and be okay with saying no.