“I socialized with people I did not like in order to appear benevolent;
I performed jobs that were beneath me in order to appear helpful;
I ate things that disgusted me in order to appear gracious.
In short, I gave way too many fucks for far, far too long.
You do this because you’re worried about what other people might think about your decision.
And guess what? You have no control over what other people think.”
Time. We never have enough of it do we? Its elusive, its rare, its just constantly in demand! We are all constantly busy, stressed and anxious as we rush from one thing to the next. And guess what one of the biggest time suckers of all is? Saying yes to things you would much prefer to say no to.
But the truth is, by saying yes to things we would rather say no to, we are not only wasting out time, but we are significantly affecting our anxiety, our stress levels, our own joy and fulfilment as it impact our mindset, our beliefs and clashes with our values.
However, consider this for a moment; when you say yes to other people when you don’t want to, who and what are you actually saying no to…?
Are you being true to who you are, what you want, your priorities? Or are you adhering to their wants and their needs ahead of your own?
Creating boundaries and saying no is not rude, it is not ostentatious, it is certainly not selfish. If anything it is the complete opposite, it is honest and realistic and selfless, as by saying no, by creating boundaries, you are looking after yourself first which ensures that you can be at your best and it is then that you can be your best for others.
So if we want to create a better life for ourselves, if we want to be more for those around us, just as Sarah Knight puts it, sometimes we need to yes say “Fuck no” and that starts by creating boundaries.
So here are 3 simple actions you can start with.
Know what your priorities are, know what you want, know what your goals are, know the type of person you want to be and how you want to live your life.
When you are clear in what you want, it is easier to determine what you do or don’t, or should or shouldn’t, being doing in your life.
Does a certain activity align to your values, or does it completely contradict them and go against everything you believe in and as a result does it make you stressed and anxious? Is the way you want to live your life, the way that allows you to be at your happiness, more balanced, energetic self, controverted by your social life, which in turn leaves you feeling dull, low and anxious? When you get clear on exactly what your priorities are you can clearly understand how to create boundaries to protect them.
Jim Rohn famously stated that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Consider that; who you are investing your time in? Now imagine if 100% of those people were motivational, inspiring, empowering, kind and generous, imagine the effect it would have on you. Now imagine if 100% of those people were negative, lazy, closed-minded individuals, would you experience the same effect?
The people who you spend your time with matter. We all know how we feel after we see a friend whose glass is half full vs the friend whose glass is half empty (or who forgot they even had a glass!)
Be more mindful of your time, be mindful of the energy you want to create, the goals you want to hit, of your priorities! We can all be guilty of forcing relationships or of holding onto old relationships but consider how the people you spend your time with affect you and start to consider whether you need to create boundaries to create the life you want to live – because, truthfully, you probably will.
I am going to write this next sentence in capital letters to make sure you acknowledge it.
YOU WILL NEVER, EVER BE ABLE TO PLEASE EVERYONE.
You can’t control what other people think, or how they feel, you can’t control their values or their beliefs. The only thing you have control over is you and what you do to create the life you want.
When you start to put yourself first rather than other people, when you create boundaries to look after number 1, other people will always have something to say, always! And that’s OK, they are allowed an opinion, just like you are. But you are also allowed to create the life you want and that starts by creating boundaries.