Getting Comfortable Saying No: Three Ways I’ve Benefitted

Three Benefits of Saying No - Getting Comfortable Saying No - Affordable T-Shirt Dress - Sarah Camilles Scoop

Do you ever feel like you have 48 hours worth of to-dos in your 24 hour days? It seems to be a feeling that is becoming more and more common. Maybe it is a result of more people juggling multiple jobs and side hustles, maybe it is an increasing cultural (and unrealistic) expectation that we should do and be all the things to everyone! Whatever the reason, today I want to talk about the benefits of saying “no” and share how getting comfortable saying “no” has helped me better balance my job, blogging, relationships and life in general.

“It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” – Steve Jobs

What Saying No Looks Like

Saying “yes” is a hard habit to break, and when I first realized I had a problem, I was not sure how to say “no” without being perceived as rude. I was worried that I would no longer think of me as a “nice” person. So, if you are a people-pleaser like me and you’re unsure how to communicate no, here are a few suggestions that worked for me:

“I appreciate you thinking of me for that opportunity but I have a conflict.”

“That sounds fun, but I won’t be able to make it.”

“Sorry, I can’t.”

Of course, our actions can communicate a “yes” or “no” as well. More often than not, I communicate with my actions. I have also learned that saying no to something right now doesn’t have to mean saying no forever. “Not right now,” or texting someone “Can I circle back with you tomorrow?” can be more gentle forms of “no,” and I leaned into them when I was first getting comfortable saying “no”.

The Benefits of Saying “No”

Establishing Boundaries

One of the first times I realized I had a problem saying no was in a previous job. Despite my communications position, I was roped into doing work that was way out of my league and expertise. My boss essentially wanted me to manage the IT support — not at all related to what I was hired to do. In hindsight, this was a direct result of my dirty habit of saying “yes” to every to-do that came my way. My boss and colleagues knew I would always say “yes”. They knew I would grin and bear it, even if it would totally stress me out.

There were many other situations, too, where I was asked to do the task that no one else wanted to do. It left me feeling like I was being taken advantage of, but the truth is that at the time I was too afraid or say “no.” I didn’t know how to break the habit and I didn’t want to let people down.

So, when I started saying “no” I didn’t have a choice. I had to establish boundaries. My boundaries today, revolve around what I consider a block schedule. I’m definitely not perfect, but I try hard each day to set aside specific time windows for work, family and friends and personal time. There are additional boundaries of course, but they stem from those three priorities.

Understanding my Top Priorities

Saying “no” has given me the opportunity to better prioritize my time — because when you say no to one thing you can then say yes to another. When I was in a habit of saying “yes” to everything that came up, I was operating more like someone playing whack-a-mole and less like someone with a schedule or plan for the day. But, when you start saying “no” you inadvertently become more conscious of what you are saying “yes” to and you figure out what your true priorities are.

A few weeks ago, I had three happy hour invites in one week. In the past, I would have said “yes” to each. But instead, I thought about my priorities and realized I needed to say no. I hadn’t worked out in a few days, and I was craving time with Will who was getting home from his week-long work trip.

For me my three priorities are work, family and friends and personal time. The personal bucket includes workout time, blogging, self care and/or doing something fun just for myself. Since I spend most of my time working during the week days, I try to completely cut work out of the picture over the weekends and maintain time with family and friends and personal time as top priorities.

Giving Others Time to Shine

When I was in a habit of saying yes to everything, I often would tell myself, “Well if I don’t do it, who will?!” or “No one else knows how to do this….” I often felt responsible to do more than my share. In work specifically, I had to learn the art of asking for help and sharing “to-dos” with other people. I have realized that my “no’s” can open doors for other people to shine and grow. I can actually come across as more of a team-player in the long run.

Three Benefits of Saying No - Affordable T-Shirt Dress - Sarah Camilles Scoop

So there you have it. Now, the truth is I’m still getting comfortable with saying “no”. I think of it as a habit that takes process, and some situations are easier than others. These benefits are just as much a reminder to myself as they are something that I hope others can find encouragement in.

And for those of you who don’t have a problem saying “no”, I hope this gives you some insight as to what it is like for the people in your life who only say “yes”.

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Check out my $20 t-shirt dress and a few similar, affordable options.

If you have a habit of saying “yes” or if you are currently working on getting more comfortable saying “no”, I would love to hear about your experiences. How do you say “no” in tough situations? Let’s chat in the comments!

Cheers!

sarah-camilles-scoop

 

Three Benefits of Saying No - Getting Comfortable Saying No - Affordable T-Shirt Dress - Sarah Camilles Scoop
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Q&A for 2018: Reflecting on Favorite Moments, Biggest Challenges & More!

Q&A for 2018: Reflecting onFavorite Moments, Biggest Challenges & More!

Hello, friends! I am back after a much needed holiday break and an amazing trip to Europe. Today, I will share with you my reflections on the past year. I know I’m a little late to the game, because we have been in 2019 for over a week now (ahh!!). But on a personal level, it is important for me to reflect on each year as it comes to an end. This year, I want to share with you what that looks like for me. So, here is my Q&A for 2018, with questions I like to ask myself, and answers highlighting big moments, challenges and an important lesson from 2018.

My Personal Q&A for 2018

What were your top three favorite moments?

  1. Hands-down, the top moment of 2018 was getting married to Will. I know our marriage will be the biggest, most rewarding commitment of my life, and it felt  amazing to embark on this journey surrounded by the support of so many loved ones. It is so much more than “a wedding day,” but it is hard to really explain that until you’ve gone through it.
  2. Thanksgiving – I always love celebrating this holiday and focusing on gratitude. In 2018, our Thanksgiving felt extra special. It was our first holiday as a married couple and we luckily had time with all of our parents on that day. This was such a blessing. Due to our family dynamics and their different locations, I realized that may be the only holiday we get to spend with all of our parents in one day.
  3. Honeymoon – We had a two-part honeymoon to give us equal doses of relaxation and adventure. Right after our wedding, we went to Antigua and stayed at a charming resort with a room that opened up to a quiet beach. It was absolutely beautiful and felt like paradise. It was also really nice to have dedicated time to relax and reflect on the whole wedding weekend directly after. If you’re getting married, I highly recommend taking time off immediately after your wedding, even if it isn’t for a conventional honeymoon. For a dose of adventure, we ended 2018 in Europe for the second part of our honeymoon. We had to reschedule our European adventure a couple times due to major work changes, but I am really glad we made that trip happen. I’ll be sharing more about it soon!

Q&A for 2018: Reflecting onFavorite Moments, Biggest Challenges & More! - SCsScoop.com

Q&A for 2018: Reflecting onFavorite Moments, Biggest Challenges & More! - SCsScoop.com

Q&A for 2018: Reflecting onFavorite Moments, Biggest Challenges & More! - SCsScoop.com

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My biggest personal accomplishment was growing my relationship with Will. I felt like I knew so much about him and our relationship, even before we got married. I’m sure that sounds naive to those who’ve been married for 5, 10 or 25+ years. But, we communicate a lot, and I am proud how we grew through the changes that came with our simultaneous career changes over the summer of 2018.

My biggest work-related accomplishment was starting my own company. I haven’t talked about my work much, but I made the leap into contract work and left my 9 to 5. Starting a business and setting up my home office were a little daunting at times, but I feel really proud that I dared to do something a little unconventional with my career, and that it has been a success so far.

What lit you up?

One of the most positive changes I made in 2018 was creating a designated home office space. I obviously needed to do that for my at-home contract work, but I was not expecting that how it would change my mindset. Having my own designated space, designed just how I envisioned has been such a gift for my work. I feel more connected to my work, more in control of my schedule, more organized and more productive. I will share more about this new space soon!

A few “small” things that lit me up in 2018 … walks with Will and Maddie, my birthday dinner with Will, a summer hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, seeing my little brother graduate high school, and all the family time at multiple weddings.

What were your three biggest challenges?

  1. Anxiety – This was new for me in 2018. I began the year with a lot of anxiety surrounding all the wedding plans and details and a desire for changes in my career. On default, I strive for perfection in everything, and when I can’t deliver that I can be really hard on myself. In 2018, my anxiety kept me from moving on things because I felt they wouldn’t be done right. I felt unsure of myself at times, second-guessed my decisions a lot and would lay awake at night thinking of all the possible outcomes of all the things that were out of my control. There were times I was so overwhelmed with the various things on my plate that I had trouble breathing. Now, I feel compelled to add that I have not been diagnosed with anxiety by a doctor. I have an aversion to doctors and did not want to be put on any medication. Thankfully, this got better towards the end of the year, but I definitely have some things to work through.
  2. Time Management – If you know me well, you know I hate time. I hate how there is rarely enough of it, and I hate how I often underestimate how long it will take me to get something done. Time challenged me in 2018 and in a lot of ways that is connected to the anxiety around perfection I just mentioned. I think it can be pretty normal for life to feel like a never-ending to-do list at times (right!?). But, I struggled with managing my time in 2018. Work ended up taking more time out of my day than I wanted to give it and that was a big challenge to address. It’s a challenge I am still facing!
  3. Maddie – If you don’t know from my frequent Instagram stories of Maddie, she is my 15-year-old dog. I have had her since I was a teenager. In 2018, we learned that she has kidney failure, and her health has been pretty up and down due to that. Maddie also had to have emergency surgery for an abscessed tooth two days after we got married! It has been challenging to see her getting older, a little less like herself, all while knowing that there won’t be enough time left with her.

Q&A for 2018: Reflecting onFavorite Moments, Biggest Challenges & More! - SCsScoop.com
Here’s Maddie on our wedding day. I loved having her by my side as I got ready, but the poor thing was in pain and we didn’t know!

Related: How I Got Maddie & 15 Years Later

What was your biggest lesson?

Towards the end of 2018, I had a bit of an epiphany when it comes to letting go. I learned to let go of my fear of being misunderstood and to find confidence in who I am. Since I was a teenager, I have struggled with feeling misunderstood or not fully understood. I felt like people would assume things about me that were not in-line with my character. I feared coming across the wrong way. I feared people would think I was entitled, materialistic and overly self-involved… and it really upset me to think that people did not see my heart. Last year though, I realized it is not my job to shape the minds of other people when the impression they have of me is wrong. I realized the need to stay grounded in who I am. There will still be days that I compare myself to others or wonder what people think of me, but moving forward I will lean back into who I am and just keep going.

Related: My Journey to True Authenticity

Q&A for 2018: Reflecting onFavorite Moments, Biggest Challenges & More! - SCsScoop.com

Even with some challenges, 2018 was a milestone year for us. I am grateful for all that God gave to us in 2018 and am honestly sad to see the year go. Now that I have taken the time to reflect on the past year, I will use this reflection to outline my plans and hopes for the New Year. I will share that post on Friday, so stay tuned.

Whether or not you do a little Q&A like mine, consciously reflecting on the past year and writing down your thoughts and feelings can be immensely helpful in planning for your year ahead. No matter the season of life you are in or how 2018 looked for you, reflection helps us see what things we would like to continue, take pride in our accomplishments, remember the lessons and assess the challenges we face.

I sincerely hope you have a wonderful year, and thank you so much for stopping by!

Sarah Camille

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New Year Q&A for 2018: Reflecting on Favorite Moments, Biggest Challenges & More! - SCsScoop.com

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