It was pointed out to me recently that I give way too much of myself to others and I don’t take in enough for myself. So, I have started to cut back and learn how to say no. It’s not like this happened overnight. 3 days away from everyday life helped me to realize that I was doing too much. Yes, I, Angela Nuss, finally admitted I was doing too much and could no longer handle it all. So, I started by cutting back on my meetup groups and facebook groups. Then I cut back on my networking groups. After that I looked at what I do in each of the aforementioned groups as well as my two community groups. I was doing way too much.
Then, I had a conversation with a prosperity coach and she hit the nail on the head when she pointed out that I give so much of myself that I’m not taking in enough for myself. She then went on to say that I need to work on extreme self-care and back off a LOT to create a reserve for ME. She gave me 6 practical steps and under step 5, which was titled “Back Off,” she broke it down into two pieces. One, was to say “no” to a few things (which I changed to “most” things), delegate and let it go and take 1-3 things off my plate. I’m pleased to say I did delegate and let something go and it felt good. Two, is to do fun things for me and to remember that doing nothing is sometimes better than doing something. I’m working on it but it is still difficult.
Here are a few real-life examples of how learning how to say “no” is making me a better person.
-One of the organizations I belong to is in need of a Secretary. I firmly stated I have no interest in being the Secretary and then had a meeting with the Chair and discussed all of our thoughts, concerns and ideas for the organization and further clarified my role in the organization with which we were both satisfied. I left that meeting feeling like a 10 or 15 pound weight had been lifted off my shoulders and have felt lighter and less stressed ever since.
-I am co-organizing an event with a friend and asked him to further take care of getting people there. In my last email I told him I as trusting him to take care of it and that we would discuss it further at the next time we were supposed to catch-up. That was a weird feeling for him to say I’m leaving it in your hands as I don’t like to leave my destiny in someone else’s hands. But, it’s one less thing for me to worry about.
-Another example is when I chose to go out to dinner with a friend rather than go walking with other friends. This was partly due to the fact that I had a sore foot and because I am building this friendship whereas there are many opportunities to walk with the group, which I have already planned to do several time subsequently. Oh, and even though I enjoy walking, dinner and our conversations are fun.
-Finally, shortly after organizers stepped down from running a couple of meetup groups I belong to I came to realize I cannot save either group and this might be the universe’s way of eliminating things from my life for me.
Ironically, all of these real-life examples happened within a week of each other. Not only that, it was right after my discussion with the prosperity coach and shortly after I started to de-clutter my life and start saying “no.” I am learning to not be the first to reply when someone is asking for help, to not immediately RSVPing to an event or invitation, to leave days and nights open for myself and spontaneity, and to say “no” when I might have otherwise said “yes.” Another way of viewing it is that saying “no” to others is saying “yes” to myself. There’s only one of me to go around, after all, and I want to enjoy being me.