Just Say No! If you’re reading this chances are good that you’re old enough to remember this campaign by First Lady Nancy Reagan. It didn’t work out too well for Nancy or the war on drugs but that’s not going to stop me from stealing the motto.
You can be pretty sure I’m going to take a different slant on it. Setting boundaries and learning to use, and like, No is a part of my Living PlayFULLY – Bodacious Bad-ass Old Broad program because there is a terrific freedom that comes with it.
I want you to concentrate on saying No to things you’ve been saying yes too, but don’t really want to do. Hey, I get it. There’re all kinds of reasons for saying yes when you really want to say no.
“It’s my responsibility.”
Ask yourself; “Is it really my responsibility or did I just take it on because I thought I was supposed to?” Do you do it because you think it’s part of your role as wife, mother, volunteer, friend, neighbor, etc? Well, who made up that rule? Challenge it!
“If I don’t do it no one else will.”
So? First, is that true? Second, what would happen if it, whatever it is, doesn’t get done? Or doesn’t get done until you’re damn good and ready to do it, if ever.
A little story along these lines. My husband likes the bed made. I, frankly, couldn’t care less. For years, I would dutifully smooth the sheets, straighten the blankets, fluff the pillows and put the spread on. Sometimes he would take care of it, but mainly it was me. Recently I’ve stopped. If company is coming or I’m changing the bedding I’ll pull it all together, but pretty much any other time the bed remains unmade. You know what? The earth still spins, the sun still rises, and he hasn’t said a word about it (he hasn’t taken over the task either, but so what?)
“It would be rude, or saying no might piss someone off.”
Really? If you start saying no to something you’ve usually said yes to there might be some disappointment, but if someone is offended you probably should steer clear anyway. It’s your time, your attention, your life and you get to choose how to use it.
I’m sure you can add to the list. As you go through your day, your week, take notice of when you’re about to say “Yes” and you feel a hesitation or a little twinge in your gut. That’s a signal perhaps you should be saying “No” instead.
If you’ve always been a reliable “Yes” it will take some time for people to get used to it but so what? What would really happen if you stopped worrying about other people’s reaction to your “No” and started considering what you really want?
Can you imagine how much time you’re going to get back? Better start thinking about what you want to do with it.
Other things you can say No to:
- Other people’s opinions, especially when they’re about you
- Other people’s fashion rules. If it’s comfortable and you like it, wear it. See #1 above.
- Spending time with toxic “friends” and that includes relatives. You can’t fix them and it’s not your responsibility anyway so why pollute your own environment with their sludge.
- Reliving past mistakes. Don’t be wasting a perfectly good now with stuff that’s behind you.
Another thing to keep in mind as you start practicing your “No”. No is a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain.
If you’re struggling with saying “No” join me in the Living Play-FULLY: 6 Secrets to Really Rocking the Rest of Your Life program, a 6-session, live on-line or in person program designed to reconnect you to the bold, creative, adventurous spirit you were born with.
If you want to know where you are on the journey to becoming a Bodacious Bad-ass Old Broad take this quick and fun asessment. Check this out to see what adventures are brewing or check here to find out what new programs are available
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