How you can Put Your self First—with out Feeling Egocentric


Why is it so arduous to say, “No”?

Nicely, for one, disappointing individuals feels horrible.

(You hate to be a flake.)

Possibly your star worker standing depends upon you saying, “Certain, I’ll keep late.”

Additionally, saying sure simply feels simpler, a whole lot of the time.

For instance, whenever you say “sure, I’ll drive you to rugby,” it means a child who will get to observe on time, and also you returning to a peaceable home.


Each time you say “sure” to 1 factor, you’re saying “no” to one thing else.

For instance, whenever you say “sure” to:

  • Watching the youngsters since you really feel responsible asking your partner to commerce off, you additionally say “no” to that gymnasium membership you paid for, however hardly ever use
  • Your boss’s midnight requests, anxiously checking your work e-mail till late, you additionally say “no” to a full, restful evening’s sleep
  • Everybody else’s calls for (hello children, getting older mother and father, and the PTA), you additionally say “no” to these appointments together with your dentist or therapeutic massage therapist

The consequence: You are feeling like a ragdoll, pulled and tossed in the direction of whoever wants you most. With no sense of your personal priorities, or the respite to are inclined to them, you’re left feeling overwhelmed, overburdened, anxious, and pressured.

(Additionally: Good day, resentment.)

However attempt a thought experiment with us:

What when you flipped your responses—saying “sure” to your self somewhat extra usually—and in flip, higher tending to your personal wants and objectives?

And, what when you mentioned “no” to extra of the issues that get in the best way of that?

Within the following article, we’ll provide three challenges that will help you try this.

You’ll discover ways to select—with intention—when to say “sure” and when to say “no.”

One higher: You’ll construct the abilities to show down requests with out feeling so responsible, insecure, or uncomfortable.

And don’t fear:

This isn’t a 90’s discuss show-style confrontation together with your family members. You don’t must “full makeover” your life. Or inform somebody the place to shove it.

As an alternative, you’ll inch alongside a continuum of “no,” at your personal tempo.

With observe, you’ll discover a place for YOU in your to-do checklist, translating to higher well being, deeper restoration, and extra power.

You may’t management different individuals’s requests of you, however saying “no” is inside your energy. And it’s one of the efficient issues you are able to do to handle stress.

Able to attempt it? Let’s go.

Problem #1: Monitor your time, power, and a spotlight

One cause you may comply with do too many issues:

It’s possible you’ll not really know the place your time, power, and a spotlight are going.

With no clear sense of how a lot time you’ve gotten in a day—and the way you spend it—it’s simple to imagine issues like:

“Oh, after all I can prepare that new worker!”


“Most days, I don’t even have 5 minutes to myself.”

You may each over- and underestimate how a lot time you’ve gotten in a day.

This problem will make it easier to see—on paper—the place your time goes. With this info, you’ll be capable of extra consciously resolve the place you need your time to go.

To do it:

Choose a monitoring methodology.

Obtain our Planning and Time Use Worksheet, use a time-tracking app, or create your personal time-tracking system through the use of a pocket book or calendar.

Report your day by day actions.

Take note of what drains your power and a spotlight—in addition to what boosts it. This info will turn out to be useful in problem #2.

Analyze your information.

After monitoring for a minimum of a day, have a look at your diary.

Any patterns or surprises? Is your time, power, and a spotlight going the place you’d assumed? Are you spending extra (or much less) time on sure duties than you thought? Lastly, do you be ok with the place your time, power, and a spotlight are going?

When you do that, be sincere, but additionally sort to your self. Likelihood is, this activity will reveal some uncomfortable truths.

Right here’s an instance of a typical day {that a} consumer—a middle-class mum or dad with a full-time job and three kids underneath 10—shared with us.

6:30 AM-8:30 AM Soar away from bed after hitting snooze, wrangle children, put together breakfast whereas checking work texts and emails from cellphone, get children off to high school and daycare
8:30 AM-2:30 PM Conferences and calls. Skip lunch, work straight by means of
2:30 PM On cellphone to insurance coverage firm whereas answering work emails
3:30 PM Choose up children from faculty; scarf handfuls of their uneaten lunches whereas driving residence to make 4 PM work assembly
4 PM Work assembly whereas making children after-school snacks and placing in a load of laundry as a result of youngest wants clear soccer uniform for observe at 6:30 PM
5:30 PM Rushed “dinner” (inhaling meals whereas arguing with partner about who has to drive)
6:20 PM Hop in automotive whereas yelling at children to rush up; velocity to a few completely different practices and classes, one for every child
7:30 PM Reply work emails and texts whereas on sidelines and sitting in automotive ready for teenagers
8:15 PM Again residence; uncover one child wants cupcakes for a category birthday tomorrow. Bake one thing from a mixture whereas making an attempt to wash and put children to mattress, overview homework, make lunches for tomorrow
10:30 PM Sit in mattress exhausted, half-watching a real crime present with partner, nonetheless answering work texts and emails
12:30 AM Lie awake worrying about tomorrow

As you’ll be able to see, she’s left zero area for… herself.

Not surprisingly, this consumer feels exhausted, overwhelmed, and anxious.

For many individuals, the above problem is transformative.

It helps them see—generally with painful readability—what their lived priorities are.

For instance, the above consumer didn’t consider themselves as a “slave to work.” However her time diary revealed otherwise.

Problem #2: Select (deliberately) spend your time

Another excuse you may say “sure” as a default response:

You don’t totally perceive the tradeoffs.

In different phrases, whenever you say “sure,” you’re not conscious of every thing you’re saying “no” to on the similar time.

This problem helps you get actual with these tradeoffs, and provide you with a stability of “yeses” and “nos” that higher displays your objectives.

To do it:

Create a chart that represents your present actuality.

Take your information from problem #1—and create a pie chart that reveals the way you spend your time, power, and a spotlight on a typical day.

Your pie chart represents one hundred pc of your whole capability. Similar to you’ll be able to’t negotiate a 26-hour day, you’ll be able to’t do greater than one hundred pc.

Your time is finite.

However as you begin including up parts, you may discover that you just’ve been making an attempt to stuff 48 hours price of stuff—or extra—into one 24-hour cycle.

Or perhaps you’ve been considering your day is generally dedicated to productive actions which can be aligned together with your broader values and objectives…

… However you then uncover you spend a minimum of an hour a day combating together with your wardrobe (why does nothing match?!), after which one other two hours scrolling by means of “aspirational” health accounts, making you’re feeling even worse about your too-tight pants.

In different phrases, earlier than doing this problem, you may assume that your day seems to be just like the fantasy under:

In actuality, nonetheless, it would actually look extra like this…

No marvel you’re feeling crummy. (Most stunning: Wiping your children’ / canines’ butts is the least of your woes!)

Determine in case your pie slices are allotted to belongings you really care about.

Contemplate every part of your chart, and ask your self two questions:

  1. How a lot time, power, and a spotlight am I giving this proper now?
  2. How a lot do I WANT to offer? In different phrases, would you like that pie slice to be… greater? Smaller? Or—poof!—gone? What are your hopes right here?

It could actually assist to consider these questions visually, because the under graphic reveals.

Create your dream pie chart.

This represents the way you need to spend your time, power, and a spotlight. Possibly your new actuality seems to be one thing just like the under.

Nonetheless wiping butts (hey, must be accomplished).

However right here, there’s a stability between output (you caring and offering for others) and enter (you recovering, filling your personal cup).

(And bear in mind: Your time continues to be finite.)

After all, the above is simply an instance.

Your pie chart will mirror your personal priorities, objectives, and values. (Your values are the belongings you take into account most essential, and sometimes drive decisions and behaviors.)

It’d take you just a few tries to get your pie chart the best way you need it.

Mess around with it. Experiment with making some slices somewhat greater or smaller till you find yourself with one thing that’s an excellent match—for you.

Most significantly, taking a look at your dream pie ought to encourage a sense of “ahhhh.” A sigh of reduction, but additionally a way of pleasure and power.

Subsequent, you’ll work in the direction of make that “dream pie” extra of a actuality.

Problem #3: Follow saying no

Together with your excellent pie chart in thoughts, you now have a visible that may make it easier to resolve what to say “no” to and what to say “sure” to.

However now, you’ll must put it into observe.

And meaning studying to really say “no” to an precise individual whose opinion issues to you.


However we’ve received your again, with a observe from Pam Ruhland, one among our in-house PN supercoaches, that’ll make it easier to ease into saying “no” with extra confidence.

To do it:

Think about some “no” challenges.

Take into consideration the way you’ll flip down requests in your time, power, and a spotlight that sit outdoors of your “pie chart of priorities.”

Undergo some hypothetical eventualities and provide you with various responses to them. It could actually assist to consider previous obligations you took on that you just ended up wishing you’d mentioned no to.

How do you want you’d’ve responded?

Typically, you may wish to hold your reply brief, saying “No, I don’t have the bandwidth for that.” Or just, “No.” (Sure, “No” is a full sentence!)

Different instances you may wish to mix a “no” with a “sure”—a compromise of types. For instance:

▶ I can’t make that assembly [no to request]. Can we do it at X time as an alternative? [yes to an alternative, or compromise]

▶ I can’t tackle that undertaking proper now [no to request], however I do know somebody superior who has a little bit of time proper now and would love the chance [yes, but for someone who wants to say yes].

▶ I can’t converse at that occasion if I’ve to journey [no to request], but when I is usually a digital speaker, I’d be blissful to take part [yes, but only under certain conditions].

Contemplate conditions up to now the place it’s been arduous so that you can prioritize your wants, and consider the place alongside the continuum of “no” you would like you’d responded with.

Attempt some mirror observe.

Have a look at your self within the mirror and observe some variations of claiming “no.”

Possibly, think about that individual you care about that’s actually stretching you skinny proper now—and say “no” to them.

Enable your self to really feel that uncomfortable feeling that comes up for you whenever you flip somebody down. Say “no” kindly and respectfully, however firmly.

For instance:

  • “I utterly sympathize together with your state of affairs; I’m simply not accessible.”
  • “It’s actually considerate of you to ask, however I can’t do it.”
  • “Oh wow, that does look scrumptious. I’m full although.”
  • “As I mentioned, I’m not accessible after 6 PM.”
  • “I’ve chosen to not drink proper now. Please respect my alternative.”

This train may really feel foolish (whats up, you’re speaking to you—in your housecoat no much less) but it surely nonetheless may carry up some emotion.

You may really feel responsible, self-indulgent, or hear the echoes of a mum or dad who used to let you know it was rude to show down dessert, or lazy to show down work.

Preserve working towards within the mirror till the yucky feeling subsides (though it could by no means go away utterly).

Acknowledge how troublesome it may be to so clearly state your boundaries, and provides your self a pat on the again.

It’s showtime! Say “no” in actual life.

Revisit your time diary and select somebody / one thing to say “no” to.

Know this: The primary time would be the hardest. Begin small, in conditions you’re feeling assured you’ll be able to deal with.

Certain, some individuals won’t be blissful together with your response. In any case, they appreciated having somebody to bail them out—anytime, wherever.

Nonetheless, you’ll most likely discover that most individuals will settle for your reply and nonetheless such as you—and a few of them will respect you extra.

However the greater payoff?

You are taking again some management over your life.

As an alternative of ready in your child, your boss, or a magic fairy to say to you, “You realize what? You deserve some YOU time,” you take the reins.

You resolve what’s essential, and elbow that point out for your self.

While you do, you give your self a greater likelihood on the form of life you’ve all the time wished—one with much less stress, nervousness, and overwhelm, and extra intention, power, and pleasure.

That’s not solely good for you, however for everybody.

In the event you’re a well being and health professional…

Studying assist shoppers handle stress and optimize sleep can massively change your shoppers’ outcomes.

They’ll get “unstuck” and at last transfer ahead—whether or not they wish to eat higher, transfer extra, drop some pounds, or reclaim their well being.

Plus, it’ll provide the confidence and credibility as a specialised coach who can resolve the most important issues blocking any shoppers’ progress.

The brand-new PN Stage 1 Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification will present you ways.


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