“When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘No’ to yourself.” ― Paolo Coehlo

Everybody wants to be ‘someone to believe in.’ There’s a lot of societal pressure for us to perform to certain standards to be considered great, desirable, or even just worthy of other people’s affections, admiration or respect. Because of this, many times, we find it imperative to do as much as we can to show that we are what is considered a good or generous person.

What it really does, however, is encourages us to discourage ourselves. Attempting to balance other peoples ‘demands’ and our own needs can leave us frustrated and tired. If we believe refusing to fulfill others needs makes us stingy with our gifts, it will be challenging to say no. When we acquiesce to some requests and succeed, we may not allow ourselves credit when it is due, because we’re just doing ‘what’s expected’.

That brings us to an interesting question: Do we personally desire to be ‘people to believe in’? If so, do we allow that to dictate our lives? Forced to live up to others’ expectations and needs and then focused on the perception of how well we lived up to the task?

Meeting those set expectations, mostly ones that’s we’ve self-inflicted, isn’t easy. Pass or fail it will almost assuredly create some level of stress in our lives. And when you look at it like that, saying yes all of the time starts to look a little troublesome, doesn’t it?

Try saying no. When we learn how to gently yet firmly say no, we allow ourselves to be open to the possibility of only accepting what is best for us, and in turn, others. When we can be focused and proactive in our approach, wonderful things happen. Being proactive in this situation means being willing to say no. It’s not easy to put the practice to task, especially when those that we care for ask us for help. If we say yes, when we really mean no, the results will be less than optimal.

If the answer is no, allow them the opportunity to find the solution themselves. Give them a suggestion, alternative or option that can lead them towards an answer. You’ll find peace in only taking on as much as you can handle. It doesn’t make you weak; it makes you smart and responsible. It also gives you the opportunity to shine internally, to feel good about who you are and what you accomplish each and every day. That feeling facilitates being the very best you for everyone, most importantly, yourself.

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