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‘Jiggsaw Reflection Series 009’

Are you afraid to say no? Do you say ‘Yes’ more than you say ‘No?’

Two syllables, one word, yet so hard to say.

I rarely said no when I was in the midst of my eating disorder. The only thing I consistently said no to was food. But people, that was different. I avoided conflict. I was afraid of letting someone down or hurting another’s feelings.

My inability to say no was linked to my need of approval from others. I hoped that by being a people pleaser, I would be liked/loved unconditionally. In the long term always saying yes, left me feeling resentful and let down when others failed to return the favour.

It wasn’t easy for me to start to say no, but the more I did, the more I felt respected and appreciated. Saying yes when deep down you don’t want to do something means you are, essentially lying.

The more time you spend doing things for others, the less time you have for yourself. If you give so much of yourself to others you will end up suffering in some capacity. Your mood, energy and self-esteem will all dip.

Don’t lie to yourself or others, own your feelings. People will actually respect you more for having the balls to speak your truth. Don’t do things expecting something in return, for this will only lead to a bitter ending.

It’s not about saying no to everything and everyone, it’s about prioritising which opportunities or requests that you can do without negating your own needs. When you say no to things it frees you up to focus on what truly excites you.

Start with small insignificant things, then once you begin to feel more comfortable, practice with other situations. Don’t live in fear of others reactions; surround yourself with those who will respect your boundaries, even when they may initially feel disappointed.

Honouring my boundaries has been a learning curve. Identifying them took some time, but actually sticking to them was a whole lot harder. I felt selfish and was sure people would walk away…they haven’t.

Acknowledging when I’m doing things for the wrong reasons, has been a huge part of growing my self-worth.

Live Your Truth.