Saying no is a beautiful form of self-care. Too often we will say yes to opportunities or to people that are not good for us, out of fear that better things won’t come.
We will say yes to opportunities when we already have too much on our plates. Or we will say yes to staying in relationships, that only continue to hurt us.
I spent so much of my life saying yes to the wrong things. I would add way too much to my plate and be completely overwhelmed, and still find myself saying yes to things I did not have time for. I spent time saying yes to people who only made me feel worse about myself. I was terrified of saying no, because I was afraid that I would let somebody down, or that by saying no, I would just get even more hurt.
When I started to find my voice, I realized the power of saying no to things not good for me. I said no to staying in a relationship that continuously put me down. And quite recently, I have learned the power of saying no to opportunities that are given to me, no matter how good they may seem. If it will only create and add stress, I have learned that by saying no, I can take care of me and create space for my mental wellbeing. And I am really, really proud of myself for doing that, and for realizing that I wasn’t going to let anyone down when I can be honest about why I am saying no. I am saying no to focus on me, and that is such a beautiful gift to be able to give myself.
Saying no is a way to realize your worth. It can be difficult if you have spent your entire life saying yes, for fear of letting others down, or of letting yourself down for not being able to “do it all”. But by saying no, you give yourself permission to have the necessary space and time for you to care about yourself and grow.
Give yourself permission to say no to opportunities or people that aren’t good for you. The quote that keeps me going is, “I hope you find the strength to walk away from anything that no longer grows you, serves you, or makes you happy”. Apply that to what is given to you in life. If the opportunity will help you to grow and make you happy, and add to your self-care rather than add stress, that’s okay to say yes. But if the opportunity or relationship will be a detriment to your mental health, self-worth and self-care, know that you have the strength to say no.
You don’t have to be everything for everyone, you are enough as you are, and you are worthy of saying no, to give yourself the space you need to grow and be happy.
Cheers to saying yes when it feels good, and saying no when you need to focus on you.