ARTICLE: LEARNING TO SAY ‘NO’
Yesterday, we discussed the importance of making yourself a priority and the reasons as to why it is so difficult and one the reasons is because we all struggle to say ‘no’ when demands are put on us. These demands can be both things we don’t want to do and things we do! Here is the dilemma with this issue though, sometimes the things we do not want to do will actually benefit us more in the long run than the things we want to do! So how do we figure out how and when to say ‘no’?
There is most definitely a modern phenomenon known as FOMO or “fear of missing out” as it is commonly known. This is where we cannot miss any social event even if it is the last place we want to go just in case we miss something exciting or feel left out. When this happens socialising actually starts to become a burden and a source of unnecessary stress. Of course, many of these events we may want to go to, but despite the fun that socialising brings prioritising social events over other demands can still be a pressure in itself. Some of the other tasks we need to do might not be as fun as the event we are being invited to, but actually dealing with them might be a better option to reduce the pressure on the week ahead or to tick off some of our to do list.
Do not get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a vibrant social life, it is simply that I regularly have conversations with people that do not want to go to a social event but feel they cannot say ‘no’ and subsequently their goals or priorities constantly come second. This inability to prioritise themselves leaves them feeling stressed and frustrated, in which case they rarely enjoy the social event as much as they probably should!
Learning to say ‘no’ seems difficult at first, but actually once you start to start to do it you realise that it is quite liberating. Instead of going to events because you feel you should, you end up just going to the events that you really want to and socialising with people that are really important to you. You will also feel that one layer of pressure and stress has been lifted from your daily tasks because simply knowing you can say ‘no’ if you want to allows you to plan and prioritise your schedule in a very different way.
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