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!

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Three Benefits of Saying No - Getting Comfortable Saying No - Affordable T-Shirt Dress - Sarah Camilles Scoop
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Learning to Bloom Where You are Planted

Spring is in full force, and each year it makes me think about personal growth and change. This year in particular I have been reflecting about what it means to bloom where you are planted. To me, learning to bloom where you are planted means learning to come into your own, maintain confidence in who you and find peace with exactly where you are in the current season of life. Today, I want to share with you a few of my latest revelations in hopes that they encourage you to BLOOM!

What to do when you are not where you want to be.

Life is full of ups and downs, and often times God plants us in a place where, frankly we do not want to be planted! When I was fired a few years ago, I was really upset. It was not part of my plan. So what do we do in those situations, when we are pushed in a direction that we don’t want to go?

Stop asking, “Why me?”

Of course, I asked that initially! I felt very confused and blindsided in the moment. But now, in retrospect, there were signs that I missed. After a week or so, I learned to consciously stop focusing on a question I would never get the answer to. I had to learn to accept what happened, even if I was still upset about it.

Focus on the lessons.

Getting fired taught me a lot of things about my work ethic. Most importantly, it taught me that my work does not define me. It was a catalyst that allowed me to find confidence in my skills and to speak up when something was wrong.

I am a firm believer that life is full of lessons, and these lessons should be shared (hence this blog post!). Even when we are planted in a place we do not want to be, there are lessons to learn about ourselves and the people around us. We just have to look for them and open our eyes and hearts to fully understand them.

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Don’t compare yourself to others.

We all know comparison is the thief of joy, but more important than that is remembering that we all have completely different lives. We are unique – through our circumstances, our personalities, our struggles, our weaknesses and our strengths. Some people may have one part of their life in full bloom, while the other part is in disarray. Comparing ourselves to others steals our time and kills our joy. There is no way we can truly bloom when we are comparing ourselves to others. It steals our time and kills our joy. But, if we focus on the good things within us and around us, then we can come into our own and reach a new level of confidence.

Look for a silver lining.

Sure, I was really upset for a couple days. But, I decided to focus on the good that could come out of the situation. I had time to think about what I wanted out of my career, and I had time to do a fun DIY project for our patio that I had continually put off. I took advantage of the time I had at home and I focused on my relationship with Will. For me, the silver lining was that being fired gave me the gift of time.

Now, I have to acknowledge that with some situations, it is much harder to find a silver lining or there appears to be no silver lining. Those are situations when the unthinkable happens, when it feels like we are incapable of ever blooming again.

I had a time in my life when I felt like that. It is something I plan to open up more about soon. But for now, I will say what got me through it was my determination to not have my life defined by that situation. It was not easy at first, but I focused on the good qualities within myself and the good things happening around me.

“Perhaps the reason you are drawn to flowers is not only for their outer beauty, but because they remind you: beautiful things will bloom after the longest seasons of waiting.” – Morgan Harpers Nichols

If you are struggling in the season of life you are in or feeling confused why part of your life is not blooming, do not beat yourself up. Find peace that you have been planted exactly where you are supposed to be. Remember you are strong. You are capable of blooming. And often times, the most beautiful blooms come after the heavies storms.

Cheers!

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Disclaimer: All  the opinions and thoughts I share are my own, unless stated otherwise. I only share content that I have a personal connection with. Your clicks, comments and engagement are very much appreciated, and may allow me to receive a small compensation. Your support of Sarah Camille’s Scoop and the brands I share help me keep doing what I love — thank you!
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