My 30 Day Challenge will be to say No to something everyday and to share how that makes me feel. Let’s see if I can grow into this.
Some of the most consistent professional feedback I have been given for years is that I don’t know how to just say No! Such a simple word but I really struggle with it, helping and supporting people is what I like to do, be there for them and make their lives easier. I am very well aware this is a big part of why I was treated so badly last year, my inability to say No from the beginning left me vulnerable to being ‘used and abused’. So this will be hard for me because sometimes I don’t realise I’ve been coerced into something till I’m half way through doing it, and sometimes I say sure and instantly regret being so helpful.
I have 2 great examples – I was sitting at my desk at work one day a few years ago, I was Monday so no doubt I was under extreme pressure to get reports out and info to my boss because every Monday till about 11:30 was always the same. One of my superiors was sitting behind me catching up on his weekend worth of emails, he received a call and without moving a muscle he said out loud ‘oh Jillian is stuck outside and can’t get the elevator to work’ I instantly jumped up and went to let her in whilst he sat and continued about his business. When I got downstairs Jill looked at me and said ‘I called Adam’ are you his assistant or something? In that moment I realised just how much he/they had me just kind of doing by making the simplest smallest comment I was off getting coffees, sandwiches, finalising their presentations, doing their expense reconciliations and often booking or fixing their travel arrangements. No wonder I was struggling to get my day job done. It had never not once occurred to me to say no, I didn’t even realise I was doing it.
I can assure you I am no better now, as I think about it the most recent was just last week. I have renewed my commitment to myself to fit in my workouts 4 times a week, doing that means starting at 7 not 6am and giving myself the time to exercise and start my morning right. I made this decision last Sunday when I was once again sick, I blame my being so easy to knock down with illness on my lack of taking care of myself.
So Mon ✅ Tues- planned rest day each week. Wed I went for a walk with my husband so that’s still active ✅ Wed at work we knew we were going to have issues on Thurs morning so I was going to need to start early, that’s ok I still had Fri and I wasn’t budging on that. About 2pm on Thursday afternoon my dry goods walks in and goes ‘we will need to be here at 6 will be load left from tonight for sure’. My response not even a blink of an eye. ‘No worries see you then’. It’s not my area, not my job and when I turned up at 6 he rocked up about 6:45 because he knew they got it done after all. 🙄.
It’s time someone practises the art of saying No! I could have simply said on Fri I will be here at 6:30 ( I could have worked out and made it by then) but I choose to just forget my own commitments and support someone else with their problems. Which is nice but it’s not getting me to my goals.
I’m sure there will be a few posts about how I missed the opportunity, but I am hoping if I focus for the next 30 Days on recognising those moments where I need to say No, I can start to become more aware of them and maybe get control of my need to please!