I’ve always had a hard time saying no to everyone else… but myself. Even when I was actually able to say no to others, I had guilt. Guilt of letting them down or perhaps not being perfect in their eyes.
I finally realized during this past year that I didn’t have healthy boundaries in my relationships and I was so preoccupied with taking care of others and their problems that there was nothing left for me.
I made a vow to put myself first, not in a selfish way but such that I was the healthiest version of myself and truly able to give to others. I therefore decided to start saying yes to myself and to adventures I would have most likely said no to in the past and this is what happened:
1. I started doing things I really enjoyed and was passionate about, like travel.
In the first six months of 2018, I have gone to Barbados twice, London and South Africa! And I’ll be making a trip to Canada in a few weeks.
My trip to South Africa was for only 8 days. It sounds crazy to have gone allllll the way to Africa for such a short time but I wanted to see my brother and his wife (who live there) and there was nothing stopping me….so I said yes to myself. Travel feeds my spirit and fills up my soul. Travel has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety and stress levels as well as promote creativity and overall wellbeing.
What do you do to feed your spirit and fill you cup?
2. I said no to fear and yes to new experiences.
For far too long, I let fear prevent me from taking risks and trying new things. Fear of failure, fear of change and fear of the unknown. I was in a self-imposed box and wasn’t living my life fully. I no longer let fear stop me. I do it afraid!
Last month, while on my trip to Africa, I went zip lining. I almost backed out because I was scared but I went through with it anyway!! My legs were like jelly but it was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had.
Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. – Tony Robbins.
3. I started saying no to toxic people and situations.
No longer seeking validation from others or needing to be liked, I was able to speak up or just walk away when needed. I am learning how to establish and maintain healthy boundaries. Read more about this in I’m Losing My Friends.
I was also able say no to doing things I didn’t really want to do but did anyway out of obligation. This allowed me to say yes to cultivating and nurturing the healthy relationships I’m blessed with.
4. I became a better version of myself
I am happier now that I am intentional about taking care of my own needs and doing the things that bring me joy. My self esteem and sense of self worth have blossomed and I love the person I’m becoming.
So if you’re that superwoman who everyone depends on, know that you can’t serve from an empty cup. So, start saying yes to yourself.
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