Either I am developing new flaws or just uncovering a whole host of old ones … So, here’s my most recently discovered flaw – I can’t say “no.”
Let me clarify that I can say no to my kids, in my work life, and when I get a call for a donation to some organization where the first words in my ear are automated. But, I have a hard time saying no when someone asks me to do or volunteer for something, that I’d really rather not do.
Being assertive and saying no, is not as easy as it sounds. For most of us, we have difficulty standing up for ourselves. Why is that? Is it a fear of setting boundaries? Is it Minnesota nice? Is it my not wanting to make anyone feel bad? Whatever the reason, I’ve got to make an adjustment in my pitching rotation (love baseball analogies!).
It’s easy to take care of others and harder to take care of ourselves. Yet, think about those times when you say yes and you want to say no. You often feel more stress, less energy, resentment and anger. What’s the point of that? Yet, when we say yes, and really mean it – we feel full of energy and motivation toward the person we’re helping.
The trick is to find a balance between meeting your own needs and helping others meet theirs. Ask yourself: “What are my needs?” “How can I take the time to meet them?” And, ““How much of my time do I want to give to helping others meet their needs?”
While each person will find different answers to these questions – the key is to start asking … to find some balance so that you have more energy (because you are taken care of) to give to others. Plus, the beauty of saying no, is that it allows you to say yes to the things you do want in your life.
Isn’t that the kind of life you want to live anyway?