All my life I’ve been a people pleaser. A peace-keeper. A say-yes-to-whatever-is-asked-of-you-to-lighten-everyone’s-load person. Don’t get me wrong – all of those things can be good when they are done with the right mindset and that is more than just having good motives and a kind heart. The truth is, you can be all those things, well-intentioned and kind-hearted included, and it be totally unhealthy. And after twenty-nine years of being this person, I broke.I spent almost two weeks in constant tears (#jesisamess) and I didn’t know who I was or how I got to that place. What I did know is that I was not okay. I was far from it. And if I’m not okay, how was I supposed to be a good mom to my kids? A good wife? A good friend? I also knew that in order to get to a place where I could find myself and thrive as my own person that I was going to have to learn how to say no and that was terrifying.
I would love to be able to tell you that I have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area but the truth is that this little breakdown was not that long ago. “No” does not roll off of my tongue easily but I’m learning how to get comfortable with it. I am learning to set boundaries with work and in my personal life (unfortunately, the lines tend to get blurred quiet often and easily since my job is where I live). I’ve had moments where I said “no” and felt so proud of myself after but I’ve also had moments where I should have said “no” and I didn’t and I felt like my soul was cringing. Then there’s learning the art of letting it go and knowing (and accepting) that I can/will do better next time.
Saying “no” and setting boundaries are part of taking care of yourself. It is necessary and vital to us all to live a full and healthy life. There’s no such thing as pleasing everyone. It’s impossible. Saying “yes” to everyone and everything will wear you thin and break you and can teach those around you that it’s okay to take advantage of your kindness and generosity. Being a constant peace keeper is just an illusion. The fact is sometimes there needs to be friction and confrontation. (Also, this doesn’t mean go around instigating or fueling arguments and fights so please don’t do that 😉
As I walk through this learning process, I challenge you to take a look at your life too to see where you may need to take care better care of yourself. Is there anything you should be saying no to? What do your healthy boundaries look like or need to look like?