For some of us saying no is a difficult lesson. Perhaps, to ease yourself into it you start with giving out maybe’s because they feel softer than no. However, the problem with maybe is that it isn’t very clear and it can still end up becoming a yes.
One of my teachers Maryam Hasnaa once said in class that a great way to learn to stop people pleasing and saying yes to things you don’t really want to do, is to say no to anything that is not a clear yes.
Sometimes you just need to set clear boundaries instead of trying to ease yourself into it. The best part is you can feel within yourself when you don’t want to do something, it’s not hard to identify. All you then need to do is follow it through with your words.
A running theme throughout a lot of my posts (and what has become the baseline for this blog) is this idea of life’s challenges and difficult moments having a lesson or a takeaway.
Having this perspective completely changes your life.
You go from things like blaming other people, being overly self critical, treating yourself unkindly and feeling stuck to feeling empowered with the ability to move through challenging situations with greater ease.
Let’s say you like the way you look but someone makes fun of your appearance. On one hand you could get upset, feel bad about yourself and feel anger towards the other person for how they made you feel.
On the other hand, you could accept that this person has an opinion, remind yourself that how you feel about the way you look is what matters most and see if there’s something worth learning there.
If the persons comment upset you, perhaps the lesson is that you need to work on your self-confidence. The takeaway could be a reminder that other peoples opinions of you shouldn’t matter more than your own, that you don’t need to take on the opinions of others or that you need to become more comfortable with not fitting into other peoples standards/ideals.
And then maybe you’ll go away and work on these things. An example of this might be embracing the way you want to look by going a week wearing whatever you want as a way of learning to become more comfortable with looking different. In doing so, you’ll probably realise that it’s exhausting to allow yourself to be bothered by everyone else’s opinion and that you feel at your best when you’re just being yourself.
This might seem excessive to some but the truth is that you can choose the way you look at things and how you handle them. Imagine if you faced every difficult or challenging situation with this kind of perspective. How different would your life be?
Sometimes it might seem like you’re missing out. But the power of hindsight is that when you push too hard for a particular outcome you’ll find that you’ll be glad you missed out.
Turns out some things aren’t meant to be even if you don’t realise in the moment.
We often get caught up in ‘fomo’ feeling like we have to join in with everything.
But sometimes a useful thing to do is force yourself to miss out as a reminder that it’s not as big of deal as you think.
And if you did miss something, well there’s always next time.
Because you’ll never be ready.
When it comes to fear the mistake we often make is trying to wait for it to go away.
It probably won’t.
But there you are saying no and putting things off because you think that by doing nothing the feeling will go away.
Instead how about try leaning into that feeling (I think Stacey June said something about leaning in on her podcast and maybe she got it from Brene Brown).
Anyway, an important lesson I’ve learnt this year is that you can’t bypass stuff so embrace it.
If not you’ll just end up making excuses and nothing will ever get done.
Thoughts on how we sometimes make ourselves feel worse.
In a recent moment I found myself choosing to do something that wasn’t making me feel good.
Now the details aren’t important but the lesson I learnt in the moment is.
Imagine you’re doing something and you it doesn’t feel good. On one hand you can stop, let go of the feeling and focus on yourself.
But on the other hand you can negatively indulge and allow yourself to feel bad.
It might seem strange that someone would choose to feel bad. But something I’ve learnt is that when someone has an internal belief they’ll be drawn to things that support that notion.
Take not feeling good enough as an example. If you heard people talking about you saying unkind things and you already feel bad about yourself those words only reaffirm your existing feelings.
But I think if you do feel good enough you’re less likely to give attention to something that goes against how you feel because that isn’t beneficial.
So the next time you find yourself indulging, ask yourself how it’s making you feel.