A while back I wrote a draft of a post about my inability to say no, but never actually posted it. It was originally titled "My Get Up And Go, Got Up And Went".
Since then I have learned to be better about saying "no" and more adept at sticking to it. Just like any changes to a lifelong routine, it takes continual effort but I'm happy to say there has been forward progress. In the course of my new work week I run into many people who struggle with the same overachiever problem--especially others who are HSP's (Highly Sensitive Person).
The good news is with a little focus and effort, it does get easier! It really does. I feel better about saying "no" to things that interest me (heck, what doesn't interest me--except maybe math) especially when I give myself permission to change my mind later and say "yes" if the timing is right. Getting the extra responsibility off my shoulders and off my to do list is not only a load lightener but a joy generator-- something many people could use more of.
Ready to try it? You can do it, you can say "no" to things others want you to take charge of--it is not only empowering and confidence building, it also allows more time for what gives you JOY.
Here is the post I originally wrote when I was struggling, see if it resonates with you.
Everyone seems to be putting up posts lately about learning to say no. To eliminate the things that are putting undue stress on you, and to focus on what makes you happy. Most of them say to cut back, to stop saying Yes and to slow down.
Here's my problem with all this advice. What if everything I am saying "yes" to, is something I totally want to do? Even worse, what if they are all things I feel compelled to do. Like now. Like right now. I seem to have a sense of urgency about these things, which in itself also scares me a bit.
It is making me lose my mind. Okay not my mind really, but everything else: receipts, lists, papers, my get up and go, especially my memory.
I am used to doing things myself, used to taking charge. That trait can be both a strength and a weakness. This time it might be a giant weakness. What I want/feel the need to accomplish is more than one person can do alone, especially when I get diverted by others asking for my help accomplishing the things on their lists. I have confidence I can help them but what I need to ask myself is "do I really want to take the time to help someone else achieve their goals when mine are still sitting there waiting to be worked on?"
I should be better about asking for help, I have good ideas about things that should happen, things that one person cannot accomplish alone. I should also say no to things that don't fit with my bigger plans as well. Yet, I stink at both.
I changed my thinking around after this draft and concentrated on the positive of telling myself I would know the right times to say no, and the right times to ask for help. So far, it's working. I've been getting better at both and life seems to be a lot more joy filled lately.
Take your power back, begin by nicely saying "no".