I used to be a ‘yes’ person.
AKA: a people-pleaser.
If someone asked me to do something, I’d jump in with both feet.
And say yes without hesitation.
But that wasn’t always the best thing to do.
Sometimes I’d say yes to things I wish I hadn’t.
And afterwards I’d feel resentful & angry.
Occasionally at others.
But mostly at myself.
For not taking the time to figure out what my true answer was.
Before I’d said yes.
Like many women, I was taught to say yes.
To focus on everyone else’s needs instead of my own.
Because that’s what good girls should do.
(Ugh. I call bullsh*t!)
Eventually I learned the hard way.
And had my big wake up call…when my marriage fell apart in 2004.
Later, my therapist told me that every time I’d said yes to my ex (& others) when I’d wanted to say no, I’d abandoned myself.
And given my power away.
Ding, ding, ding!
No more of *that* I decided.
And thus began my journey to self-empowerment.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to set healthier boundaries.
To say no to requests when they didn’t feel right.
And yes when they did.
And most importantly, I’ve learned to always have my own back.
However, truth be told, I still say yes too quickly sometimes.
Like the other week for example.
When I agreed to go to an event with a group of people downtown.
Only to realize a few days later (after sitting with my feelings) that I didn’t want to go at all.
And that I should have said no.
Instead of yes.
In the midst of trying to figure out what to do, I remembered these powerful words my friend Shelly taught me years ago:
Of course I do.
We ALL do.
Even when you say yes initially, you have the right to say no later.
Because sometimes, after the dust settles, & you’ve had a chance to process how you really feel, you arrive at a different decision.
And that’s ok. Nothing’s set in stone.
The most important thing is to honour yourself & your needs.
And trust that others can & will do the same for themselves.
’Cuz that’s not your job.
Your job is to honour your *truth*.
And to be brave enough to speak your ‘no’ (with as much kindness & grace as possible).
No matter how it’s received by others.
Even (especially) when it’s difficult, scary, or feels almost impossible to do.
Because that’s when your biggest growth happens!
And if that doesn’t convince you, then think of it this way…
When you give yourself permission to change your mind, you give others permission to change theirs.
And everyone’s free to be their truest, most authentic self.
It’s a win-win for all!
So as you move into the busy holiday season (where the pressure to say yes to all sorts of things builds)…
Take some time to check in with yourself. And your intuition.
Get clear on what works for you. And what doesn’t.
And remember, even if you say yes in the moment (like I did) & later realize you should have said no…
You have the right to change your mind.
So be brave, honour your truth & speak up.