After I had my stroke in December 2005 and the doctors couldn’t find much wrong with me except my stress levels were off the charts, I knew I had to make some changes. My life had become all about busyness and trying to get it all done. I was overcommitted and overextended. I found myself wishing I had time to breathe!
One way to find some breathing space was to learn to say NO. I never said no to anyone, regardless of how much was on my plate, so this was a big deal for me.
Evaluating the many things you have on your plate and being able to take off some responsibility (by disengaging from them), is also essential. It’s not about being irresponsible; it’s about being authentic as to what you’re willing and able to do, and what you’re not.
I found that it’s not so much about saying “no” to someone as it is saying “yes” to yourself. By saying yes to me, I gained more time and felt much more in control of my own life. The idea of giving myself more time took me from living in survival mode to a place of growth which deepened my capacity for peace.
Do you know when and how to say no?
Ending on a Positive Note: I am grateful for learning to manage my “disease to please” so I am more in control of my time and my life.