Building out my “NO muscle”

Here’s the thing.

If you believe it or not — you cannot make everyone happy.

If you’re anything like me you’re a super sensitive person and always tempted to please other people. There might be a number of reasons behind being a typical people pleaser — Daddy issues, self esteem problems or simply being too sensitive.

However, as a people pleaser I want everyone to be happy and as a result of this desire I rarely if ever say no.

Why do I keep saying “Yes!” to things when I know that overloading my plate never turns out well?

I know, right? We want to say no, but it just isn’t possible.

Due to my mission to please everyone I often put myself last and as a result I feel completely drained, and if I am being honest, a little (or a lot) angry from time to time.

So first of all I´ve been thinking a lot about the “why” — why is it so hard for me to say no?

Specifically at work I was first of all thinking of success in form of money being the reason.

For sure, money is nice. But it is definitely not the root of my problem because I was never a person solely motivated by dollar (euro ;-)) signs. What I am, however, is someone who’s driven by the fear of failure, the anxiety of not accomplishing enough, and the discomfort of disappointing people.

I’ve heard quite a lot im my life that I need to give to others and it’s kind of expected.Well, at one point I figured I was not given the whole picture. Yes, you need to give to others, but from a place of overflow, not at the sacrifice of your own well-being.

I hadn’t realized that I’d been drowning until I finally came up for air. Family, friends, colleagues — I want to please everyone at anytime. I offer help at all time and make everyone believe it is an easy thing for me to do.

So I get to the point where I know I am saying Yes too much, fathom the reasons why but quite literally don’t know how to say No. In that tense or exciting moment when a response is needed, I default to what I’ve created the habit of doing. So the yes-saying continues.

Sometimes my body tells me to stop, catch my breath and slow down a little.

Then, in typical Johanna fashion, as soon as I felt a little better, I started the cycle all over again. And just like that, I was in over my head again.

I realised it was vicious circle I needed to escape from.

So I made a deal with myself: “Don’t wait until the Universe puts something much more obvious in your path to help you shift.”

I’d start saying “no” more often to offers or requests that didn’t excite me (with the exception, of course, of things I had to do — you know, the things that are phrased as requests but really aren’t). Instead, I’d use that time to do things I wanted to do.

It wasn´t an easy thing to start because my - how I call it - no-muscle basically was non existing.

But I found a nice little trick to get started, that works pretty good for me: Instead of going from Yes to No immediately, I started replacing Yes with “not right now”, “mabye later” or similar phrases. Believe me — so much easier to answer, than a final No.

My bigger goal now is to make time for myself EVERYDAY and make it non-negotiable. By non-negotiable I mean this comes first. It’s right up there with eating or sleeping.

I want to establish boundaries. Let go of all toxicity in my life. If it isn’t helping me, it’s hurting me or at least stopping me. I want to be willing to let go of relationships, things and habits that no longer serve my highest good.

Because when you put yourself last you’re not able to give to others unconditionally feeling fulfilled, it becomes an obligation.

I know this isn´t a rare disease. So start building out your no-muscle as well, it will change more than you think.