Learning to Say No

How boundaries validated me in a way saying yes never could.

I was a yes person. Yes to everything, yes to everyone and in spite of all the yes in my life, there was one thing I was constantly saying no to. I look back at my years of saying yes and now, from a wiser and more reflective space, I truly understand all that yes I offered was an indirect form of me routinely saying no to myself.

I was a classic perfectionist and a people pleaser. I sought validation from a space outside of myself and unknowingly at the time, I subconsciously found ways to find what I was seeking in all I did. Saying yes was tied to that validation. I was happy to help, give away my time, my services, my knowledge and my experience because it felt good to be needed and it made others feel good too.

In various mediums, I’ve always worked in the business of people. I was proficient in giving people what they needed, what they wanted and what they desired to hear. The thing was, through it all, I wasn’t getting what I needed and all that giving left me burnt out, devoid and frustrated. I endlessly wondered how I could give more to fill that space inside of me that pleaded to be nurtured.

I needed to learn boundaries. I needed to learn that by not setting them I wasn’t honoring my own self-worth and I wasn’t creating a relationship with who I was that was self-fulfilling. I’d cut off the dialogue between my mind, my heart and my needs and replaced it with supporting the needs of everyone around me. My eternal optimism and belief in others had completely overshadowed the belief I had in myself. I needed to learn how to say no and create boundaries that removed me from the exhausting standards perpetually saying yes had created.

Turning in and learning to listen to my intuitive needs has been my lifeline back from that burnt-out, perfection-driven, people pleaser. It’s allowed me to step back into my life as a grounded, whole and fulfilled being.

No is easier these days, it’s always an option and often I truly enjoy the freedom it offers my life. It’s created an empowering sense of knowing that self-care is always the priority. Without that boundary in place, I know I’m ineffective at being a person who can build others up and truly support them from a fulfilled personal space.

Boundaries are a big part of my life today. I’m always happy to share my own experiences and the power of instilling boundaries into our relationships, the way we utilize and offer our time and any other aspect of our lives where we find ourselves acting from a place that overlooks our best interests. I have learned that boundaries are directly tied to the value we hold for ourselves and they’re only limiting if we choose to view them in such a sense. In truth, I’ve found boundaries to be wildly expansive and something I hold such gratitude and appreciation for in my life today.

View Lauren’s work and connect with her at www.lauren-williamson.com