Now that 2017 has come to a close, I’ve been reflecting on it and I am so happy with my growth. The beginning of my 2017 started out rough, but it brought about several revelations. Hence, I decided early on that I would name 2017 “My Year of NO!”
The Revelation: I had a serious problem with “Boundaries” or the lack of having actual boundaries for the people in my life.
The Task: When 2017 approached, I had an immediate need to establish my boundaries quickly and learn that saying “NO” was not a bad thing. Without defined boundaries, people were free to come and go and do as they pleased in my life.
Yes, it’s true, saying “NO” to someone you love doesn’t always make you or the other person feel good, but on the other hand, it didn’t make “me” feel good to say yes when I really didn’t want to either.
As a natural giver, I realized that over extending myself to meet the needs of others was a constant in my life. This could be seen throughout my personal and professional relationships. It was clear that I had a problem with the word NO! Especially to the people that mattered to me the most. What was also clear, was that I allowed the feelings and needs of others to come before my own. So much to the point that I didn’t really know who or what I really wanted at times. I was the sacrificial lamb.
Ask yourself the questions below:
- Do you have a problem with saying NO?
- Do you have defined boundaries for the people who may enter into your life and for those who remain in it as well?
- Do you say yes to your family, friends or coworkers even though you want to say NO out of feelings of guilt?
If you answered yes to these questions, I won’t bore you with the details of my process. Instead, let me give you three advantages of establishing boundaries and utilizes the word NO that can change your life. (See advantages below)
The feeling you get when you say NO to something you don’t want to do is astounding. I mean really, it is a liberating feeling. Drop that weight honey and you will be free… I guarantee it!
When you establish your boundaries, and learn how to say NO, your mind will be at peace. OK..OK… not immediately. It takes practice LOL! A lot of practice, but I promise the more you practice the easier those words will just flow from your lips.
Setting boundaries and saying NO, allows you to put the accountability where it belongs. Don’t let someone hold you or your feelings hostage. Put the accountability for “their” situation and their feelings where it belongs… with Them! Learn to say this….“Your poor planning is not my emergency!” Ok, maybe not verbatim, but you get my drift here. Don’t take on other people’s problems. It’s like the little girl on Facebook that says, “Worry about yourself!” Try it and after a while you will experience advantages #1 & #2. I promise this is not selfishness, but self-preservation.
I’m not going to lie to you, this is a process that takes time, but it is worth it. If you are looking for resources on how to establish boundaries, or if you’re not sure that you even have an issue with boundaries. Check out the book by Henry Cloud and John Townsend entitled “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life.” This is a Christian book, but a good read for anyone really. I would also recommend a life coach or a counselor. I have one and she is phenomenal and has made all the difference in this area of my life.
Happy New YOU and Happy New Year!!!