No matter what the situation, remind yourself "I have a choice" 

Deepak Chopra

Over the past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of thinking and soul-searching. I questioned everything in my life, including my purpose, my feelings, my thoughts, my mission, and my whole being. It was extremely overwhelming, and at times, frustrating. I asked myself why am I the way I am, and what is the reason I do things even when I don’t want to do them. Why is it that I am so overwhelmed and tired, unmotivated and at times feeling unhappy? There were many questions and many reasons, but mostly, I discovered that I tend to always say YES! Even when my soul, my head, my heart are screaming NO, I still say YES! Nonetheless, it is difficult to be in a situation that does not nourish your soul and your being, it is hurtful and can be very draining at all levels, mentally, emotionally, and even physically. To go through the emotional and mental work to get to the reasons of being the way I am, was excruciating, to say the least. The main reasons that most people, including myself, say YES is because they want to feel accepted and wanted, needed and loved. The most difficult thing to do for a YES person is to learn to say NO. It is not so much saying NO, I say NO to my kids all the time, rather it is saying NO to those whom you seek approval from, those who you feel intimidate you, those who you long to be accepted to their inner circle, or into their hearts. Saying NO is not an easy task, it is rather difficult and at time intimidating and takes courage.

To say NO to someone you love so dearly and seek approval from makes you feel guilty and ashamed as if you are committing a crime, and it makes you feel cruel and insensitive. To say NO, in reality, is taking a big risk of being rejected and dismissed as someone who is unaccommodating, and sometimes, “selfish” by someone else’s standards. There are so many emotions and thoughts that run through your whole body that you may feel physically ill. However, the worst kind of NO is when you say NO to yourself; fully knowing that you're hurting yourself, and not acknowledging the importance of your mental state of mind and your wellbeing, this is much more damaging than being perceived as someone you are not by other people. In the past few weeks, one of the tasks I had put myself to work on is to learn to say NO to situations that don’t serve me. These situations include saying NO to people I am connected with on an emotional level, and others on a purely business level. I also said NO to myself, many times, to stop myself from pushing through situations that can burden and overwhelm me on all levels. Putting myself first in the past few weeks has made a world of difference for myself and my family, my friends and my network. Since I started saying NO, I have seen many benefits in my personal and professional life, these include:

  • Being more available and loving to my children, I NO longer feel as though I just want to take time away from them when they need me the most.
  • I am calmer and more composed with my kids and do not feel resentment towards them when they require more of my attention.
  • I am able to take care of my emotional and mental wellbeing needs.
  • I am more aware of my physical needs and my body’s need to rest.
  • I am more aware of the effects of foods I eat on my body.
  • I have been able to really focus on my business goals.
  • I have been able to write my blogs that I have been putting off for over two years.
  • I have been able to better manage my life and my time.
  • I have been able to return to my writing, which is my solace and pleasure.

I can go on with the list, but ultimately these are just a few of the benefits I have been experiencing over the past two weeks. 

You may ask, what is it that I needed to say NO to, how can I say NO? Saying NO to people is easier than I thought, saying NO to situations and thought are much harder, and surprisingly, saying NO did not have people leaving me and rejecting me and making me feel guilty. As a matter of fact, people respect the boundaries I have created, they now also know to respect that I am only human and can only perform miracles in my life when I am the best person I can be for myself first, and for everyone and everything else second. Briefly, here are some of the things I say NO to:

  • NO to thoughts that don’t serve me, this had to be the hardest one of them all!
  • NO to situations that don’t serve me.
  • NO to doing things that don’t nourish my soul.
  • NO to overwhelming and stressful situations that affect my mental wellbeing.
  • NO to financially stressful demands that can put pressure on my health.
  • NO to situations that put my physical health at risk.
  • NO to people who demand more of me than I can or wish to give to them.

My life wasn’t all NO either, these past few weeks I have learned to say YES too! I am no longer a martyr.

  • I say YES to my body when it needs to rest.
  • I say YES to the things that nourish my soul.
  • I say YES to play time and fun time with my kids.
  • I say YES to movie nights, and girls’ nights out.
  • I say YES to loving myself more and being kind with myself.
  • I say YES to more love even from strangers.
  • I say YES to many more things that I used to say NO to, but only if they make me feel whole and complete!

I would love to hear what will you be saying NO to, please share in the comments below!