Keep Your Feet Firmly Planted

How many of you have experienced times in your life where you said “no” to someone, only to be talked into saying “yes”? You then walked away feeling frustrated and upset that you didn’t stick to your original answer? A good friend of mine was persuaded to run the swim team this year, even though she knew she wouldn’t have the time or energy. She then proceeded to beat herself up the entire time for not sticking to her wishes. Because of this, she wasn’t able to truly enjoy watching her kids swim, because she had so many other responsibilities piled on. We all get persuaded from time to time, and please know that it’s ok and normal. However, if you constantly give in and put your own desires and wishes aside in order to make everyone else happy, the consequences will catch up with you. Don’t you admire people that say what they mean and mean what they say? You know they are speaking from their heart and are not so preoccupied with what others think. If you find yourself falling victim to this scenario, I’ll give you a couple ideas to focus on.
1. Know your priorities
    When you clearly define your priorities in your life, it will be easier to say “no” to requests that don’t fall in line with these.  An example would be if you value being an involved and active parent. If your company asks you to travel several times a month on business, it might be easier to come up with other options. You know ahead of time you would be upset and feel guilty if you were away too often. For you it is not worth the sacrifice.
2. Start small
   You need to practice the art of sticking to your decisions when you make them. If someone asks you to do something, practice saying “let me check and get back to you”. Take some time to process whether or not you want to commit to something, and then get back to them. When you make your decision, stick to it.
3. Don’t feel guilty
     One of the biggest emotions when saying “no” to someone, is guilt. You want everyone to like you and you don’t want to let anyone down, so in the process you let yourself down. Remember that by being honest and having your integrity intact warrants no guilt afterward. The more you practice this, the less you will feel guilty. I guarantee others will look at you in awe and respect.
Have a great week!