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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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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Busy Life Guide to Finding Time for Workouts

Busy Life Guide to Finding Time for Workouts Sarah Camille’s Scoop ~ SCsScoop.com

Working out consistently when life is extra busy can be a challenge. And I’ll be honest, I’m facing that challenge head on right now. Between my job, this blog and wedding planning it often feels like I am juggling three jobs at once. Now, don’t get me wrong–I wouldn’t have it any other way! Some recent weeks have been particularly challenging for getting my workouts in and trying to tone up for our wedding. Wedding planning aside, I know many people who face periods in their life when it feels like every day brings a different schedule and it is difficult to stick to a workout routine, much less achieve fitness goals. While I am by no means perfect at finding time for workouts all the time, I have found a few tricks that make it easier to stay on track with fitness. So, whether you’re in law school studying nonstop, juggling two kids under two or putting in overtime with your new job, here is my guide for finding time for workouts when life’s busy.

Busy Life Guide to Finding Time for Workouts Sarah Camille’s Scoop ~ SCsScoop.com

Guide to Finding Time for Workouts

  1. Keep your fitness goals realistic. This tip is all about finding a way to challenge yourself that fits your current lifestyle. For example, I currently make goals for the amount of time (180 minutes) I workout each week. This goal is easier for me to manage an accomplish than if I was focused on the number of workouts per week. I have the flexibility to six 30-minute workouts, two 90 minute workouts or anything in between.
  2. Schedule it. Every week has its own agenda and important matters. To set expectations for yourself, identify which day(s) are no-go’s for working out and schedule workouts in your calendar at the beginning of each week.
  3. Share it. Once you have set your fitness schedule, tell someone. Sharing your intention to workout, even if it’s during a casual elevator conversation, will make you much more likely to follow through on your word.
  4. Make the most of your Time. You can have a two-hour workout with light cardio, that isn’t effective or a 30-minute workout that has you wobbling out the door. The key is quality over quantity for your cardio and reps.
    • EXTRA TIP: When it comes to weight training, 10 careful reps in 30 seconds that are focused on proper form are much more efficient than 30 sloppy reps done in 30 seconds. Try doing both, and just see how the feeling in your muscles change. If you are looking for an effective cardio workout, check out my HIIT treadmill workout.
  5. No execuses. There is no time to wait for the stars to align. The next time you want to delay your workout, as you wait to feel motivated or think, “oh, just one more Netflix episode,” STOP it! Accept that there is no perfect time for your workout, and workouts are not always perfect. But, a complete workout is always better than an incomplete one. I guess Nike was on to something with their slogan – Just do it!

“Success at anything will always come down to this: FOCUS & EFFORT and we control both.” – Dwayne Johnson

Busy Life Guide to Finding Time for Workouts Sarah Camille’s Scoop ~ SCsScoop.com

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“You won’t always love the workout, but you will always love the RESULTS!”

UK fashion brand T.M.Lewin, who specializes in men’s dress shirts,  has created an infographic of fitness tips and interesting facts to optimize your workout. I think these will be particularly helpful if you have a 9-5 job like me!

Fitness Tips from T.M.Lewin and the Busy Life Guide to Finding Time for Workouts from Sarah Camille’s Scoop ~ SCsScoop.com

Hopefully you are now feeling more motivated and better equipped to stay focused on your fitness goals. I would love to hear more about how finding time for workouts works for you. Do you have new obstacles in your way when it comes to accomplishing your fitness goals? Do you do any of the same things I do to get your workouts in? Let’s discuss in the comments section!

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

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Busy Life Guide to Finding Time for Workouts - SCsScoop.com - Sarah Camille's Scoop

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How to Be True to Yourself 

Hi friends!

I’ve been working on this post off and on for quite some time, so I’m excited to finally share this with you. The past few months have included a lot of change for me – job changes, moving, engagement, wedding planning, family obligations, etc., and I’d be lying if I said it’s been smooth sailing! Thoughout these months however, I’ve had an important lightbulb moment that I think might be helpful for some of you.

That realization in summary is that so many of us (including me!) spend way too much time focused on pleasing other people and being “the person” other people want us to be. We loose sight of our authentic selves and our goals and life plans end up intertwined in the expectations placed on us by others. But the fault lies not on those who place expectations on us that don’t align with our true identity. The fault lies on ourselves for accepting those expectations as our own.

Let’s Rewind

Throughout my childhood, I often heard from my mom four particular words. Be true to yourself. These words would come most often when I struggled to make a decision. I would tell my mom how torn I was, how I felt like I had to choose one friend over another or how I wasn’t sure how to move forward with something because I knew it was the right thing to do but that it would make someone else upset.

As a child, I was super concerned about upsetting other people — family, friends or teachers. But I also had a strong sense of self. I knew exactly when I didn’t believe in something. So in those moments, when I was torn between upholding my integrity and maintaining my relationships, my mom would always say those four words. It is something that has stuck with me, something I hear replay in my mind all the time.

Fast Forward to the Present

I reflected on this advice and had my lightbulb moment when I stumbled across a TedTalk, “The art of being yourself” by Caroline McHugh. McHugh talks about how easily we get wrapped up in what others think of us. It made me realize how often I am concerned with what other people are thinking and how other people are feeling, that I often lose sight of my own thoughts and feelings. My desire to please other people can be damaging when it means I am not maintaining my authenticity; when I am not remaining true to myself. Of course, there are times when our thoughts and feelings must take the back seat, like if a loved one is sick and wishes to be taken care of in a way that we would not have chosen.

But all too often we function on auto-pilot and put the thoughts and feelings of our friends and family at the forefront.  We let their vision of who we are dictate our lives, and we loose that clarity we once had as a child. When that happens we risk loosing touch of who we are. And as Caroline points out, we cannot be content with ourselves when we do not know what rings true in our hearts.

Almost in synchronicity, soon after I watched McHugh’s video, Will sent me an article, “Why We Love Ourselves But Care More About Other People’s Opinons.” It discusses how we place more importance on other people’s opinions than on our own opinions. We seek acceptance from others, and in many ways it’s natural to do so. But as I’ve mentioned, we loose contentment with ourselves when we don’t place enough importance on our own thoughts or we shy away from being true to ourselves.

So what?!

This revelation may seem irrelevant to some of you. It may seem like a no-brained. I may also sound like a crazy person. But the important thing isn’t my lightbulb moment. It’s figuring out where I go from here, and how to stay in touch with my authentic self.

I’ve realized just how much I overthink what I’m doing. I wonder what people will think. I question whether or not people truly understand me. I question whether or not I unintentionally offended someone. And I’ve realized how much extra stress that puts in my life and how much time it takes out of my day to day life.

My goal now is to recognize those moments when I am overthinking things and redirect my thoughts into a positive direction. I reaffirm my authenticity, but reflecting on the things that align with my true nature and letting go of the things that are not me.

It’s unfortunate we live in a society where individuality and differences aren’t celebrated more; where so many people copy each other and accept someone else’s identity as their own. We should aim to be more accepting of different people’s thoughts and not expect everyone (including close family and friends) to live or think the same way we do.

Authenticity is a quality of high importance to me. I look for it in the people I surround myself with. I know this post may seem idealistic, but I hope some of you can relate.

Cheers to YOU!

Sarah Camille

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