Valentine’s Day makes February the love month. We are bombarded with it all month — it’s a huge trigger for people — and I’ve written about it before (click here for a Valentine’s Day pep talk!).
To really love others however, I believe you must start with yourself, and a key element of doing so is setting boundaries.
A lot of my clients fall into the habit that every request, whether it’s from a boss, a partner, a friend, family, etc, receives a “yes.” I’m not talking about in response to work or job demands. Demands are different than requests! I’m talking about the knee-jerk reaction to give away a “yes” without taking a moment to determine whether saying yes–instead of no–actually works for you.
Is this you?
You’re in great company if so. For a variety of reasons, it’s super common to feel inclined to constantly say yes. But doing so can leave us feeling depleted, exhausted and resentful. The very opposite of the desired outcome when agreeing to be helpful.
That’s why setting boundaries is so essential, and dare I say, an act of love.
Setting boundaries and limits — flexing our NO muscle — can sometimes feel mean and selfish. The truth is that saying yes when we want to say no, being inauthentic in our ability to help, is actually the cruel act. It’s unkind to the recipient, who you may only be able to partially help, and as a result you may come to resent. It’s also cruel to yourself, because you’re short changing what you need to show up fully, grounded, and well-resourced.
I would add that that saying yes when you want to say no, is actually an unnecessary and self-defeating act. You’re signing on to something you don’t really want to do, to avoid someone else getting mad at or disappointed with you. Again, not exactly the helpful spirit.
This month — it IS Valentine’s Day after all — how about practicing some self-love and self-care by setting some boundaries. Start by actually saying NO to something you really don’t want to do, even if it’s a tiny thing. Even if you feel guilty about it. Need help? Send me an email!
PS Are you in NYC on February 29, and want to take the self-care work deeper? Join me and Chrissy Carter in our workshop: Self-Aware Self-Care, we’ll help you develop a meaningful and lasting self-care plan that works for you!Enjoyed the post? Share it!