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

Why is it so onerous to say, “No”?

Nicely, for one, disappointing individuals feels horrible.

(You hate to be a flake.)

Possibly your star worker standing will depend on you saying, “Positive, I’ll keep late.”

Additionally, saying sure simply feels simpler, lots of the time.

For instance, while you say “sure, I’ll drive you to rugby,” it means a child who will get to follow on time, and also you returning to a peaceable home.


Each time you say “sure” to at least one factor, you’re saying “no” to one thing else.

For instance, while you say “sure” to:

  • Watching the youngsters since you really feel responsible asking your partner to commerce off, you additionally say “no” to that health club membership you paid for, however hardly ever use
  • Your boss’s midnight requests, anxiously checking your work electronic mail till late, you additionally say “no” to a full, restful evening’s sleep
  • Everybody else’s calls for (hello children, getting old dad and mom, and the PTA), you additionally say “no” to these appointments together with your dentist or therapeutic massage therapist

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

(Additionally: Whats up, resentment.)

However attempt a thought experiment with us:

What for those who flipped your responses—saying “sure” to your self a bit of extra usually—and in flip, higher tending to your personal wants and objectives?

And, what for those who mentioned “no” to extra of the issues that get in the way in which of that?

Within the following article, we’ll provide three challenges that will help you do this.

You’ll discover ways 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 discuss show-style confrontation together with your family members. You don’t must “full makeover” your life. Or inform somebody the place to shove it.

As an alternative, you’ll inch alongside a continuum of “no,” at your personal tempo.

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

You possibly can’t management different individuals’s requests of you, however saying “no” is inside your energy. And it’s one of the crucial 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 motive you would possibly conform to do too many issues:

Chances are you’ll not truly know the place your time, power, and a focus are going.

With out a clear sense of how a lot time you could have in a day—and the way you spend it—it’s simple to imagine issues like:

“Oh, after all I can practice that new worker!”


“Most days, I don’t even have 5 minutes to myself.”

You would possibly each over- and underestimate how a lot time you could have in a day.

This problem will assist you see—on paper—the place your time goes. With this info, you’ll be capable of extra consciously resolve the place you need your time to go.

To do it:

Decide a monitoring technique.

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

File your every day actions.

Take note of what drains your power and a focus—in addition to what boosts it. This info will turn out to be useful in problem #2.

Analyze your information.

After monitoring for no 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 sort to your self. Chances are high, this job will reveal some uncomfortable truths.

Right here’s an instance of a typical day {that a} consumer—a middle-class mother or father with a full-time job and three kids underneath 10—shared with us.

6:30 AM-8:30 AM Soar off the bed after hitting snooze, wrangle children, put together breakfast whereas checking work texts and emails from cellphone, get children off to highschool and daycare
8:30 AM-2:30 PM Conferences and calls. Skip lunch, work straight via
2:30 PM On cellphone to insurance coverage firm whereas answering work emails
3:30 PM Decide up children from college; scarf handfuls of their uneaten lunches whereas driving dwelling 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 follow 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 3 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 youths
8:15 PM Again dwelling; uncover one child wants cupcakes for a category birthday tomorrow. Bake one thing from a mixture whereas making an attempt to wash and put children to mattress, overview 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’ll be able to 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—generally 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) find out how to spend your time

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

You don’t absolutely perceive the tradeoffs.

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

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

To do it:

Create a chart that represents your present actuality.

Take your information 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 one hundred pc of your whole capability. Similar to you’ll be able to’t negotiate a 26-hour day, you’ll be able to’t do greater than one hundred pc.

Your time is finite.

However as you begin including up parts, you would possibly 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 considering your day is usually dedicated to productive actions which might be aligned together with your broader values and objectives…

… However you then uncover you spend no less than an hour a day combating together with your wardrobe (why does nothing match?!), after which one other two hours scrolling via “aspirational” health accounts, making you are feeling even worse about your too-tight pants.

In different phrases, earlier than doing this problem, you would possibly assume that your day appears to be like just like the fantasy under:

In actuality, nonetheless, it’d actually look extra like this…

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

Resolve in case your pie slices are allotted to stuff you really 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 offer? In different phrases, would you like that pie slice to be… larger? Smaller? Or—poof!—gone? What are your hopes right here?

It may well 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. Possibly your new actuality appears to be like one thing just like the under.

Nonetheless wiping butts (hey, must be completed).

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

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

In fact, the above is simply an instance.

Your pie chart will mirror your personal priorities, objectives, and values. (Your values are the stuff you contemplate most essential, and sometimes drive decisions 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 a bit of larger or smaller till you find yourself with one thing that’s match—for you.

Most significantly, your dream pie ought to encourage a sense of “ahhhh.” A sigh of aid, but additionally a way of pleasure and power.

Subsequent, you’ll work in direction of find out how to make that “dream pie” extra of a actuality.

Problem #3: Follow saying no

Together with your perfect 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 have to put it into follow.

And meaning studying to truly say “no” to an precise individual whose opinion issues to you.


However we’ve obtained your again, with a follow from Pam Ruhland, one among 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 on your time, power, and a focus that sit outdoors of your “pie chart of priorities.”

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

How do you want you’ll’ve responded?

Generally, you would possibly wish 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 would possibly wish 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 undertaking 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 generally is a digital speaker, I’d be pleased 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 want you’d responded with.

Attempt some mirror follow.

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

Possibly, 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 together with your scenario; I’m simply not out there.”
  • “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 out there after 6 PM.”
  • “I’ve chosen to not drink proper now. Please respect my alternative.”

This train would possibly really feel foolish (hi there, you’re speaking to you—in your housecoat no much less) nevertheless it nonetheless would possibly carry up some emotion.

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

Maintain practising within the mirror till the yucky feeling subsides (though it might by no means go away utterly).

Acknowledge how tough 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 are feeling assured you’ll be able to deal with.

Positive, some individuals won’t be pleased together with your response. In spite of everything, they favored having somebody to bail them out—anytime, wherever.

Nonetheless, 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 an alternative of ready on your child, your boss, or a magic fairy to say to you, “You already know 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 probability on the sort of life you’ve at all times wished—one with much less stress, nervousness, and overwhelm, and extra intention, power, and pleasure.

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

Should you’re a well being and health coach…

Studying find out how to assist shoppers handle stress, construct resilience, and optimize sleep and restoration may be deeply transformative—for each of you.

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

And for coaches: It offers you a rarified ability 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 the way.

Wish to know extra?



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