First of all, please let me apologise for not publishing on Monday, and then again, yesterday. It was a tough and frustrating decision to not publish a blog post this week.
As my loved ones say, I have a tendency to overcommit and want to do a good (note, not perfect!) job. Last weekend, I had to complete a couple of projects and I also had some engagements this week. Knowing that my energies were running low, I chose to not publish this week.
It was part of saying my approach of “Say No to say Yes”.
If you’re anything like me, your life is filled with different obligations to your job, your relationship, your family, your friends, your neighbourhood, your body, your mind and so on. The one I at least have been ignoring for too often is my body. I’ve not been fuelling it with the appropriate nutrients or taken care of it by exercising regularly.
So, I’m practicing “Say No to say Yes”.
Work can be stressful. Workloads are increasing and resources are limited. Probably, you’re dealing with people from different cultures based in other countries, requiring you to work even harder on your communication and interpersonal skills. It’s exhausting! And now your colleague asks to help them with a project while you’re already up to your eyes? Saying no here can be hard as you are part of the same team or company. You can answer any of the questions within in a specific time, e.g. 30 minutes or 1 hour and then let your colleague finish the rest. If you can’t spare this time, politely explain that other work projects are a priority and you are not able to help them now. Keep it short and precise.
Very often, living in a buzzing city like Dubai, temptation to go out and socialise with friends is there. It may appear as a fun and relaxing time. Your body and mind will need some time to relax, digest the events from the day and sleep can go do part of the recovery. Allow yourself to pass an evening or night out to give yourself the quiet time needed, even, or especially, when you don’t think you need it. Block time just for yourself and put that into your calendar. Make that your me time!
It’s hard to say no to our loved ones, whether it’s your spouse, your children or your parents. Guilt can lead us to accept invitations while we cringe thinking about it. Family traditions and expectations may mean spending every holiday together. Breaking these traditions can be tough and yet, there’s no point sitting with a sour face or pulling yourself together when you’d rather be somewhere else. If the thought of the upcoming family event is making you sick for weeks, evaluate and decide if you can say no and how you’ll put it forward. Again, keep it short, simple and be clear in your language. You don’t want to give the other person room to drag you back in. If you’re happy to do another activity with them or meet them on a different date, say that. You’re reaching out, without accepting their original invite.
Learning to say no to say yes to something else is a process and takes time and practice. Am I a master of it? By no means, yet, I’m getting better at it. To me, the most encouraging and rewarding part of saying no (and trust me, it’s not always easy) is the time and space it gives me to do something I want to do. It gives me energy to focus more on what’s important to me and to live my life in a more authentic way.
What are you doing to say no and to show your boundaries? How are you saying yes to what brings you joy and energy? I’m looking forward to reading your comments below!
Until next time,