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


Why is it so onerous to say, “No”?

Nicely, for one, disappointing folks feels horrible.

(You hate to be a flake.)

Perhaps your star worker standing is determined by you saying, “Certain, I’ll keep late.”

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

For instance, while 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, while you say “sure” to:

  • Watching the children since you really feel responsible asking your partner to commerce off, you additionally say “no” to that gymnasium membership you paid for, however not often use
  • Your boss’s midnight requests, anxiously checking your work e mail till late, you additionally say “no” to a full, restful night time’s sleep
  • Everybody else’s calls for (hello children, growing older mother and father, and the PTA), you additionally say “no” to these appointments along with your dentist or therapeutic massage therapist

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

(Additionally: Good day, resentment.)

However attempt a thought experiment with us:

What should you flipped your responses—saying “sure” to your self just a little extra typically—and in flip, higher tending to your individual wants and objectives?

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

Within the following article, we’ll supply three challenges that can assist you try this.

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

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

And don’t fear:

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

As a substitute, you’ll inch alongside a continuum of “no,” at your individual tempo.

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

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

Able to attempt it? Let’s go.

Problem #1: Observe your time, power, and a focus

One cause you may comply with do too many issues:

You could not really know the place your time, power, and a focus are going.

With out a 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 assist you see—on paper—the place your time goes. With this data, you’ll be capable of extra consciously resolve the place you need your time to go.

To do it:

Choose a monitoring technique.

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

File your day by day actions.

Take note of what drains your power and a focus—in addition to what boosts it. This data will come in useful in problem #2.

Analyze your knowledge.

After monitoring for not less than a day, take a look at your diary.

Any patterns or surprises? Is your time, power, and a focus 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 focus are going?

When you do that, be sincere, but additionally form 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 guardian with a full-time job and three youngsters below 10—shared with us.

6:30 AM-8:30 AM Bounce away from bed after hitting snooze, wrangle children, put together breakfast whereas checking work texts and emails from telephone, get children off to high school and daycare
8:30 AM-2:30 PM Conferences and calls. Skip lunch, work straight via
2:30 PM On telephone to insurance coverage firm whereas answering work emails
3:30 PM Choose up children from college; scarf handfuls of their uneaten lunches whereas driving house 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 automobile whereas yelling at children to rush up; velocity to a few totally different practices and classes, one for every child
7:30 PM Reply work emails and texts whereas on sidelines and sitting in automobile ready for teenagers
8:15 PM Again house; uncover one child wants cupcakes for a category birthday tomorrow. Bake one thing from a combination whereas making an attempt to wash and put children to mattress, evaluation 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 may see, she’s left zero house for… herself.

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

For many individuals, the above problem is transformative.

It helps them see—typically 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 in another way.

Problem #2: Select (deliberately) how you can spend your time

One more reason you may say “sure” as a default response:

You don’t totally perceive the tradeoffs.

In different phrases, while you say “sure,” you’re not conscious of all the things you’re saying “no” to on the identical time.

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

To do it:

Create a chart that represents your present actuality.

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

Your pie chart represents 100% of your whole capability. Identical to you may’t negotiate a 26-hour day, you may’t do greater than 100%.

Your time is finite.

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

Or possibly you’ve been pondering your day is generally dedicated to productive actions which are aligned along with your broader values and objectives…

… However then you definitely uncover you spend not less than an hour a day combating along with your wardrobe (why does nothing match?!), after which one other two hours scrolling via “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 just like the fantasy under:

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

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

Resolve in case your pie slices are allotted to belongings you actually care about.

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

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

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

Create your dream pie chart.

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

Nonetheless wiping butts (hey, must be achieved).

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

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

After all, the above is simply an instance.

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

It would take you just a few tries to get your pie chart the way in which you need it.

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

Most significantly, 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 how you can make that “dream pie” extra of a actuality.

Problem #3: Observe saying no

Together with your preferrred pie chart in thoughts, you now have a visible that may assist you 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 obtained your again, with a observe from Pam Ruhland, one in every of our in-house PN supercoaches, that’ll assist you 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 to your time, power, and a focus that sit outdoors of your “pie chart of priorities.”

Undergo some hypothetical situations and give you different responses to them. It could assist to consider previous obligations you took on that you simply ended up wishing you’d mentioned no to.

How do you want you’d’ve responded?

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

Different occasions you may need to mix a “no” with a “sure”—a compromise of kinds. 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 venture 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 communicate 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 prior to now the place it’s been onerous so that you can prioritize your wants, and consider the place alongside the continuum of “no” you would like you’d responded with.

Strive some mirror observe.

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

Perhaps, 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 while you flip somebody down. Say “no” kindly and respectfully, however firmly.

For instance:

  • “I utterly sympathize along with your scenario; I’m simply not obtainable.”
  • “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 obtainable after 6 PM.”
  • “I’ve chosen to not drink proper now. Please respect my alternative.”

This train may really feel foolish (hiya, you’re speaking to you—in your housecoat no much less) however it nonetheless may convey up some emotion.

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

Hold training within the mirror till the yucky feeling subsides (though it might 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 may deal with.

Certain, some folks won’t be blissful along with your response. In spite of everything, they preferred having somebody to bail them out—anytime, anyplace.

Nevertheless, 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 larger payoff?

You are taking again some management over your life.

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

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

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

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

If you happen to’re a well being and health coach…

Studying how you can assist purchasers handle stress, construct resilience, and optimize sleep and restoration may be deeply transformative—for each of you.

It helps purchasers get “unstuck” and makes all the things else simpler—whether or not they need to eat higher, transfer extra, drop extra pounds, or reclaim their well being.

And for coaches: It offers you a rarified talent that may set you aside as an elite change maker.

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

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