Saying NO ... it's an Art! How do I know? Because I've always been particularly bad at it.
Well I can say No to food I don't like, or to things I don't find aesthetically pleasing - without issue.
But when it comes to my work & my kids? Let's just say there is room for improvement in the boundary setting department.
I know this about myself. And while they say that awareness is the first step to recovery, I'm still very much in that first step. With just a little reflection I know that the primary driver behind the kid stuff is guilt and behind the work stuff is a fear of not making enough money. Ugh.
And you know we just do what we do, until it doesn't work any more, right?
Last weekend some of that people-pleasing behavior kind of blew up in my face. Actually it was a totally-not-dramatic, really loving conversation with my sweetie - where I heard clearly that my over-committing wasn't working for him. Over-committed me = being distracted & busy all the time = not showing up in my relationship. Which is no bueno.
So this week I said No to a new client. I actually said No to two new clients! Crazy right? It felt scary at first, but when all was said and done, the resulting feeling was Freedom! (That's my word for the year, in case you didn't know.) The other cool thing about these particular "No's" was that they allowed me to get really clear on the work I'm just good at, vs. the work I love - and saying yes to what makes my heart sing. And that was amazing.
At the end of the day, boundary setting is just like any other exercise: The more you do it, the stronger that "No" muscle becomes, and the easier it gets. It's just a matter of getting started, and I feel like this week I took some turtle-steps in the right direction.
Will I keep it up? I think I've nailed something on the work side - so I'm optimistic there. As for my boys? I'll keep you posted on my progress, especially the next time they ask me for money. :)
Do you have issues with boundaries? Have you mastered the Art of Saying No? If you have any boundary setting tips and tricks, I would love to hear them. Send me a note or leave a comment here.
Love and Light,
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