I’m one of those people who finds it hard to say no (
I may or may not have mentioned this before). I’m better at it these days, but in the past, 9 out of 10 times I’d always say yes. You see, I often felt like I wasn’t good enough, so I thought if I did what the people around me wanted, I would become good enough for them. LOL, let’s just say things didn’t quite work out that way.
I’m older now, and even though I haven’t completely mastered the art of saying no, I’m working on it – and this leads us to today’s post. Recently I was asked to do something. My first impulse was to say no because it was beyond my abilities at the time. However, I thought, “what would people say if they knew I said no”? I then told myself I was being silly for thinking I couldn’t do it (even though I knew there was no way I could deliver) and being the stubborn person that I am, I decided I would say yes! LOL, I’m sure my village people were laughing at me. Anyways, I said yes, then promptly decided I wouldn’t think about it. I mean, I knew I had this thing to do, but I didn’t want to stress about it, so I didn’t give it too much thought. I did all that I could physically do and lived in denial for a while. As the deadline got closer though, I realized how unprepared I was and let’s just say things went south really really fast.
Looking back, I know I could have prevented all that by simply saying no, or saying I couldn’t deliver within the time frame. I could have avoided all that emotional and mental stress. I could have handled the situation in so many different ways, but I decided to go down the one way that would cause me the most stress. I knew it wouldn’t end well, but my fear of “what would they say” stopped me from making the right choice.
So here’s the thing, in being unapologetically you, you have to know who you are. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses, make the most out of them and protect them. If you know you get stressed easily, you need to remove yourself from stressful situations when you can and find less stressful ways to deal with them. If this means doing things straight away instead of leaving them until the last minute, then do that. Don’t sit in situations that will cause you to pull your hair out when the option to walk away is available. It’s like eating chocolates even though you’re allergic to them just because you don’t want people to think you’re weird or because everyone is doing it. It doesn’t make sense!
Protect your peace of mind, your health and your joy and do it with pride
You can only protect what is yours if you know how too. What are the parts of yourself you are working on? What are your weaknesses? What are your strengths? What are your unique qualities? You can only protect and nurture them when you identify them. This isn’t to say don’t work on becoming a better you, but as you’re on that path, take care of yourself so you don’t jeopardize your progress.
When I first started my PhD, one of my colleagues said to me that she doesn’t work 7-day weeks because if she does she’ll become overly stressed and become useless to everyone. So she works 5-day weeks, goes to the gym, has a life outside of work and is productive as a result. She knows herself and she makes no apologies for being that way!
Your life is yours and yours alone. Protect your peace of mind, your health, and your joy and do it with pride. It doesn’t matter if they think it’s an anomaly. At the end of the day when you’re sick or stressed or worried, the people you were trying to live for most likely won’t be able to help.
Moral of the story, you know yourself better than anyone else. Don’t let the thoughts of people or society push you into a situation that robs you of your peace and joy.
Life is too short for you to be constantly stressed when you don’t have to be!
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