An article on Mind Body Green caught my attention over the weekend. It was titled “The People Pleaser’s Guide to Saying No”. I have always been a people pleaser and not very good at saying “No, I can’t do that.” I was very interested to see what little tips and tricks lay hidden in this article. As I read through the suggestions that I get out of my own head, meditate on the feelings and practice, practice, practice saying no, the sinking realisation hit that this was not going to be an easy fix!
I started thinking of how we end up in a pattern of never saying no. My background is firmly rooted in the hospitality industry and my career started in 5 star hotels. It is a commonly quoted mantra within this world that the answer to any guest’s questions is YES. As I read the points and how they related to saying “no” to the tasks that you don’t want to do, something occurred to me. This could also be a list of how to say “yes” to accepting some help in your day-to-day life, to create more space for the activities that you really want to be saying yes to.
Here are the top three points I feel can be interchangeable - saying "no" to taking on too much or "yes" to asking for help!
My Top Three
“Get the heck out of your head”
The number one tip in the article is to get out of your own head and let yourself say no without the guilt, over thinking and anxieties. Easier said than done, right! We so often hear from our clients (before they become our clients!) that they are unsure that they ‘deserve’ to have our help. There is a misconception that if you agreed to the life that you live, you are not allowed to have any help to live it. Get out of your head! Let go of the anxiety and embrace the idea that passing on some tasks to others will open up your life to the activities that you really want to say "yes" to.
“Realise the simplicity of being honest…and be honest”
Be honest with others, but also be honest with yourself. When you stop to really think about your day and all of the things on your ever-growing to-do list, honestly stop and ask yourself if they have to be done by you. The focus in this article is on simply saying no without the elaborate excuses as to why. This is a hard skill to come to terms with, but a very powerful one to master. Just as you don’t need an elaborate excuse to say no to an event/new project/working overtime, you don’t need an elaborate reason to say yes to having some help either. Spending more time doing the things that you love or spending it with the people that you love is more than enough reason to accept some help with the parts of your life that don’t need your constant attention.
“Expect to be uncomfortable”
I think this is the hardest thought to accept. Delegating and outsourcing means opening up and letting go. First from the feeling of control that you have held over some areas of your life initially, but then letting go of the pressure to get everything done and the welcoming in the feeling of spare time to spend with your family or friends. The discomfort with soon be replaced and you will have so much free time to relish in how it feels!
I am still working on saying no to things that I don’t want to be doing and saying yes to having help with the things that have to get done, but I think these points are a great starting place for figuring out how to do it best.