In my work with busy women I have found one common underlying element – we all are overworked, overwhelmed and overcommitted but want to be fulfilled.
We women of the 21st century have become very well trained in being super professional, awesome multitasking machines and confident achievers but we have forgotten how to say no and that has led us to a constant state of being perpetually busy.
We have forgotten to enjoy the moments of our life amongst our busy lifestyle. Yes, after all, it is life passing by! When you go to bed feeling completely exhausted do you feel gratified or anxious? Have you ever asked yourself why are you even running this busy lifestyle?
I was at a point of my life several years ago where these 2 questions began to haunt me! The list of things to be done never ends and even though you may be a smart woman, you can’t figure out a way to do less or get what you truly need. You still feel stressed out and depleted more than you feel blissed out and rested.
We, women, play various roles in the society – be it a sister, wife, mother, daughter, partner, co-worker, etc. As women, our primary essence is our feminine energy and one of the innate nature of the feminine energy is giving. This is the reason why many of us women find it difficult to say no to others which eventually leads to being overworked, overwhelmed and overcommitted.
We give, give and give to the things we love, care about and feel compelled to take care of, but we rarely give to ourselves or receive the support that we require. Eventually, we run down our emotional, spiritual and physical internal accounts, depleting our reserves.
Being an introvert, I personally had a hard time saying no to people in the past and would end up feeling resentful instead. However, my journey of discovering my feminine essence taught me something crucial that every woman should learn in order to create a sustainable life.
What I learned was that while giving is an innate nature of the feminine, the truth is, the more you give to yourself, the more you will have to give to others. It is that simple.
Here’s a simple 2-step exercise to create a life that is more supportive and less depleting:
1. What is that one thing that you can say ‘NO’ to today?
Remember, when you set a boundary and say no, you’re actually saying yes to yourself. One of my mentors once told me – ‘In order to be completely true to yourself, you need to learn to disappoint others’ – doing this from a place of compassion allows you to do yourself a favor will still honoring others.
2. What is that one thing that you can say ‘YES’ to today?
When we include small acts that bring us joy in our everyday life, it makes our busy day much more rewarding, irrelevant of how much work we got done or not. After all, life is meant to be experienced not just worked through.
Peace. Fun. Rest. Quietness. Connecting with nature. Screen-free time. Order. Spontaneity. Freedom. Connection. Creative flow. Laughter. Which ones pop out for you?
Doing this self-check-in exercise on a regular basis will show you that how sometimes doing less can make you feel more content. It will show you how engaging in small acts that bring you pleasure can increase your energy. More importantly, it will show you how you can be confidently assertive without being rude or judgemental.
When I was in my teens, I remember often feeling intimidated saying no. I pushed my own needs down because I didn’t want to cause conflict or have anyone upset with me. I realized that every time I said yes to a request when I really meant no, I was sabotaging myself when I put my needs last. After several years of doing this, the energy later turned to anger. I realized I had the power to live my life more harmoniously by having more courage to say no when I really meant no.
So I invite you to get courageous in order to truly love yourself. Saying no will take practice, patience, and commitment but the rewards are so worth it.