Written by Monica Bey
July 9, 2019
Have you ever been asked to do something for someone, and out of the kindness of your heart, agreed even though it caused you stress, inconvenience or discomfort to follow-through? Sometimes making decisions like this can get in the way of you getting things done for yourself and saying no can feel like an act of selfishness. It isn’t selfish, however, to politely decline. Saying no evokes an internal power of knowing your capacity and assessing your capabilities at any given point in time. It intentionally sets limits and protects you from becoming trapped in activities that don’t align with your current priorities, beliefs, or emotional standing. Saying “no” is taking your power back.
The truth is that we all have goals for ourselves, whether they be personal or professional, and anything that causes us to stray away from those goals can eventually become roadblocks to our future. If we allow ourselves to become trapped in the comfort zones of others, we open the door for becoming overwhelmed, which can eventually transform into negative energy that causes resentment for those closest to us. Saying no is a power that requires practice to become recognized as an actual choice for ourselves. It is a way to regain control of our needs, wants and desires while protecting our space from those unintentionally trying to interfere.
But how do we begin to practice our power?
It’s easy to say that we need to become stronger in how available we make ourselves but much harder to actually do when confronted with the choice. It’s important to understand that when presented with the opportunity to choose between self-capacity and the reliance of others on you, a clear decision needs to be made. It is important to live and actively stand in your truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may make others feel. It is also equally important to exercise your right to say no to maintain your inner strength and confidence in staying focused on your goals. One good practice for exercising your power is to take a moment to check in with yourself mentally, physically and emotionally when presented with a question of your capacity. If you have to think about it for more than a few seconds, chances are, you are probably not in an ideal position to take on that extra task or activity.
Saying no creates boundaries that promote your growth while also reinforcing your values for not just you, but for those around you. You may find it challenging to assert your needs above others, but understand that those choices are vital in every aspect of your life and will always have an impact. Remember that there’s freedom in the Power of No and sometimes saying no to others, is saying yes to ourselves. Just say no!
Written by Monica Bey
June 2, 2019
What do you do for yourself?
When was the last time you answered that question?
Too often, we jump to fulfill the needs of others be they family, friends, bosses, etc., but don’t make the same effort to cater to our own lives. The act of putting our desires first is usually overlooked and can seem foreign to most people. But doing so is critical to having a healthy self-care regimen. We know we should do it, but we struggle to actually make it happen.
Why is this?
It’s possible some may be fearful that they’ll lose the love and connection with those they do the most for if they stop to take care of self first. Others could be worried about losing their “caregiving” status while different people may simply feel it is their responsibility to tend to those close to them and may consider putting their needs first as a luxury. This can cause a feeling of guilt to set in. Too many people have the perspective of self-care being negatively associated with self-interest and indulgence. That’s not the case and having that skewed perception can trigger our ego into relaying an inner message of selfishness. This can keep us in a cycle of guilt and neglect that have long-term psychological and physiological effects on our overall wellness. It can also lead to a decrease in self-confidence, depression and even cause physical health problems.
If we look at putting ourselves first as a non-negotiable part of our weekly routine, that feeling of guilt will subside. Putting yourself first means honoring your mind, body and soul in conjunction with your needs and desires. It means giving your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs precedence over anything else. This is important because if you’re not well, that hinders your ability to care for and help others. So even if you must be a caretaker of some sort, putting yourself first is still a must.
Some helpful examples to jump-start incorporating self-care into your life include:
Stop putting yourself on hold and do something nice for yourself today. You deserve it!