Last blog we explored being aware when we are tipping into self-sacrifice and subsequent resentment. Maybe we have taken on too much, are not taking the time to rest or have placed unrealistic demands on ourselves. When we are aware of this happening it’s great to remember to tune into our wise selves to be reminded to care for ourselves as well as others.
We talked about self-compassion boundaries including, taking the time to pause and consider a request, to do a little stock take of our resources before committing, and resisting the urge to overcompensate!
An important self-compassion boundary and a way we can look after ourselves, so we can be available for others, is to simple say ‘no’. A truism I like is, ‘no is a complete sentence, it does not require explanation or justification’. And another one is ‘sometimes saying ‘no’ is the bravest thing you can do’.
I am a big people pleaser and have difficulty saying ‘no’ to a request. As a result, I can run myself ragged and forget to take care of myself! This often leaves me depleted and resentful. I am reminded to do as Brene Brown says and to ‘choose discomfort over resentment’. Saying ‘no’ to a request we cannot meet or resisting the urge to overcompensate or please can feel uncomfortable, but this temporary discomfort is far preferable to creating toxic resentment from doing something that we can’t or don’t want to do or overdoing! Saying ‘no’ can help us live a more intentional and meaningful life and help us to take care of ourselves.
It’s important to be aware of when we are stretching ourselves too thin by saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’. As I said, I find it helpful to pause and do check in to my wise self for a little stocktake of my resources, including time and whether I am actually willing and able to do it. ‘Yes’ is often my kneejerk reactions whether someone requests something of me or not. Taking the time to pause, reflect and consider before jumping in with a response or action is helpful. Awareness is key. I often forget I don’t need to give a response straight away. I can give myself some time by saying ‘I need to think about it, I’ll get back to you.’
Having this awareness helps me to check in to ask ‘by saying ‘yes’ am I tipping into self-sacrifice and resentment?’ A great guide for me is when I notice I have lost the joy in doing something. Learning to say ‘no’, and having the courage to do so is a work in progress for me. Next blog we will look at some things I find helpful to often say ‘no’ to.
With love, appreciation and very best well wishes to us all