From a “YES!” to a “No”

The Back Story

If you follow on my Instagram account you saw a few weeks ago that I had a little quarter-life crisis. Long story short, I just wasn’t happy with where I was at and knew a big change had to be made. The first thing that stood out to me was that I needed to dejunk my life. To take control of what I allowed to take priority in my life and just stick to the basics.

So I set some boundaries for myself. I can’t say I’ve been the queen of keeping them, but you gotta set goals. I took ALL social media off my phone except for Instagram. (I won’t lie, I just couldn’t let go of what I have worked so hard on this last year, and it’s the only connection to the blog that has been successful.) And since I kept Instagram, I try to only be on it twice a day. (This is where I have failed epically the past few days haha.)

So the past few weeks I have refrained from a lot of what took up my daily routine.

The Problem

In my moment of peace and stepping back into reality it was a cruel hit to the face. I always tend to get to know myself a little better during these phases of life, usually things I don’t adore about myself. Go figure. So here is what I learned about myself.

I am afraid to say “No.” I am afraid to say it to others. I am afraid to disappoint someone and make their life harder. I am afraid to become someone who isn’t reliable because if we were honest with ourselves our generation is a little too full of those kinds of people. And I just never wanted to be that. But…I already knew that about myself. And I know I’m not the only one, this is a common feeling.

For me, a big part of this was my time on social media. We ALL know what a distraction it is. Not only does it suck us in, spending hours upon hours on a screen. But it is the monster of comparison. (More on that later.) I also realized for me though that I had this constant pressure to respond to people. If there was any notification, it had to be taken care of right away. And that was the bait. Once I would respond to a friend, a comment, message, or even an email I would have to go see everything else being offered to my senses. I couldn’t disapoint the people wanting to communicate with me. I had to reply, or I would be letting them down.

I’m still trying to gain an understanding that others will be disappointed in me once in a while. But in reality, that’s out of our control. They can be pleased, or not. Whether we say yes or no to them. Whether it’s your hardest work or the minimal requirement.

So here’s where it all clicked for me. I’m scared to say “no” to myself! I am the easiest person to disappoint. I don’t have a confidence that I can be ok with not being pleased with myself. So here is where the problem lies. If I can’t say “no” to myself, then everything was a big fat “YES!” Because saying “no” would limit me.

So it was “YES!” to blogging, even though I work full time. It was “YES!” to constantly connecting with people. It was “YES!” to cooking a meal every night, after working full time. It was saying “YES!” to internships, affiliates, modeling, networking. It was saying “YES!” to trying too hard to make new friends. It was saying “YES!” to shopping to have the latest trends. So many times I told myself “YES!” and it clearly overwhelmed me.

Now, these things I’ve listed aren’t bad things. In fact, I wouldn’t be where I am without them. But the plate wasn’t growing along with the number of things that needed to fit onto it. I just kept piling it on, insisting I could handle it. Because if I couldn’t, then I was limiting myself and proving to myself that I was a failure. I wasn’t reliable, even for myself.

The Takeaway

So how did I get over it? Well let me tell you, I have a feeling this one will be a life struggle. And again, I’m sure I’m not alone in these emotions and fears. But there have been a few thoughts I wanted to share.

  1. Saying “NO!” a little more often, to myself! I have tried to recognize when I am allowing something extra into my life. And it really is just within myself and my own thoughts and actions. So skipping the laundry if I need to. Taking a little longer getting ready for bed so I can relax and ponder on the day. Eating out instead of cooking. Little things that can be changed so I’m not constantly stressed about all the other “YES!” things on my to-do list.
  2. That comparison I mentioned before. It truly is the bitter to the sweet of social media. We are constantly aware of what others are, have, and present to be their life. But we HAVE to remember it’s just that. A presentation. When I stepped back from it a little bit I realized that it was ME creating the comparing. I was the one breaking myself down. I have countless comments and messages from amazing women I’ve connected with over Instagram. They ALL are filled with compliments and comments that build me up. No one is on there telling me my clothes aren’t good enough, or my skin isn’t clear enough, or my tummy isn’t fit enough. That was ME telling myself those things.
    So now I continue to limit my time on social media. I only do what I need to do to continue to connect with so many amazing people. The people who are only there building me up. Any other time spent on there is now “NO!” time.
  3. GOALS!!! I know I use that word a lot. But I’m going to keep using it. I served a full-time mission for the LDS church. A big part of that lifestyle is setting weekly, and daily goals for yourself. And doing so with a purpose in mind. And then once you have those in place, everything you do should feed into them. So I decided what my focuses should be, that’s my purpose. I try and set mental goals (should be writing them down!) to help me fulfill that purpose. Anything that doesn’t fit into that is a big fat “NO!” And that’s a no I’m pretty ok with right now.

The Sum of it All

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I have a lot I’m still working on. But I know there is so much good out there for me to discover and bring into my life. Good that I can say “YES!” to without feeling guilty or stressed about. We simply cannot get those mixed up with the extra, the distractions, the comparisons, or the fluff of life. Those need to be a firm “NO!” And those no’s are ok! Because they’re allowing the right things to take priority in our lives.

So here’s to being a “yes” person, but picking the right moments to bring in a “no.”
The Confidently Speaking

3 Replies to “From a “YES!” to a “No””

  1. I am a “yes” person. I don’t like to say no either. Then when I get into it I realize it wasn’t quite worth my “yes” and my husband says “why did you say yes to that?” and I think about it and I’m not sure. Just to please the person? Just to avoid the word “no”?? I will just say yes to avoid confrontation or awkward conversations. It happened all the time with piano lessons, of all things. People asking to reschedule their lessons or pay a different amount based on different circumstances. And I would say yes to all of it and then wildly complain to Randy about it and he would contintue to ask “why did you agree to this?” He is always my voice of reason and analyzing (because that’s what he does) my yes’s. He’ll say “that wasn’t worth it for you” and “that only benefits them”. It’s so dumb because even in the moment of saying “yes” a lot of times I wanted to say “no!” My head was screaming “no!” But I sat there and smiled and said “yes”. Photography, LipSense, Maskcara, piano lessons, callings in church, preschool, even buying random things on Instagram because “oh, limited time only! Sales ends today!” Ahh! I’m like “yes, yes, yes!” Don’t even get me started with Old Navy sales. 🤦🏼‍♀️It sure is a good day when you figure out you can and should just say “no”. I tend to make fun of the “people pleasers” and then I realize to some degree I am one. I loved this post and obviously could relate to it a thousand times over. So, thank you for being you and bringing light to my life. I am gonna sit here and practice the word no! Haha 😘

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  2. Ad a little child “No” is one of our first words but somewhere along the way we become afraid of saying it and when we do say it we feel guilty for weeks.
    I have gotten better at saying no or letting the sign up sheet pass by and letting someone else have a turn. I feel a slight twinge of guilt each time because I know I’m no busier than anyone else but I am also learning to recognize my mental limits and when taking on one more thing would be too much.
    I am glad you are striving to learn this while you are young.
    Very wise words you shared. Thank you.

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  3. Ugh! I know I need to tell myself “no” a little more often, too- and make room to say “yes” to the most important things.

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