The key to creating boundaries and saying no confidently depends on how much you are willing to prioritize yourself. If you have not taken care of yourself, how can you be of service to others? I myself am a people pleaser and I find joy in making others happy. This causes me to experience burn out when I am overwhelmed with unnecessary commitments. Over time, I learned that there is nothing wrong with prioritizing myself and helping others with the energy I have leftover.
Learning How to Say No = Prioritizing Yourself
If you are someone who is constantly showing up for others, but struggle for that same support – it is time to set personal boundaries. Prioritizing yourself may seem odd or selfish at first. Over time, you will come to realize that this is a necessary practice to living a fulfilling life and having a good relationship with yourself. You are responsible for your reality, so learn how to get a little selfish!
Understanding How Energy Works
Energy is not unlimited. You are only given a certain amount of energy in one day, which will depend on how rested you are, your nutrition levels, and how much energy you expelled the day before. Your mood and how you may be feeling at any particular moment also directly impact you. Energy is sensitive and can change at any given moment throughout the day.
Creating boundaries also looks like protecting your energy. Here are a few ways you can actively protect your energy:
- Staying away from people or settings that you find emotionally draining
- Choosing to prioritize rest over a social event with friends
- Not allowing negative comments to deplete you of happiness
- Get into nature and spend time alone
- Choosing positive and encouraging humans to be in your daily life
- Creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself with nutrition and exercise
Offering Honesty and Setting an Example
Others are encouraged to honor themselves when they see someone else doing it. This is what comes along with being a “light”. Oftentimes, we know exactly what we want out of life, but it takes someone else validating our ideas for us to believe in ourselves. We don’t always realize that we can be self-advocates which rubs off on others around us.
When I was working on a project with a friend, he texted me on the day of the deadline and said something like “Hey, I’m really tired and I don’t have energy for the project tonight. Can we reschedule for next week?” His advocating for himself and admitting to being drained was so inspiring to me because I always feel like I have to push through. I learned that day that it’s okay to have boundaries, especially in a professional setting. We decided to raincheck and he was ready to go with amazing ideas the following week.
Boundaries and self-preservation run parallel. There is nothing wrong with wanting to love and serve others – but you come first. The next time you’re invited to do something, check in with yourself first by asking a few questions such as:
- Do I really want to do this?
- Does this align with the plans I have for my day/week/life?
- Do I have the energy to do this?
Don’t be ashamed to say no and champion for yourself and your time, Pretty Birds.
Image by Hannah Rand