Just Say NO.
The most common description I still hear from people is that they feel overwhelmed. I think it’s really important to consider that most overwhelm is self-generated, although there are really complex reasons as to why that is true.
First, many people do not say no. They could be perfectionists and worried about how saying no would make them look. Or they could be people-pleasers who are afraid to say no because they don’t want to disappoint someone. Or they could have low self-esteem and need to be needed. Or they could just have developed a habit to say yes to everything.
Saying no is a part of setting healthy boundaries. If you’re struggling with perfectionism, people-pleasing or low self-esteem, you’re not alone and there are plenty of techniques and programs available to assist you in overcoming these self-limiting behaviors. If it’s a habit, you can break it by consciously practicing saying No until it overrides the Yes.
Second, and especially in Western cultures, we’ve accepted that being busy is a sign of productivity and success, even though that’s a myth. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we need to be constantly busy and we’re absolutely judged if we slow down. But in reality, slowing down allows us to actually think, gain clarity, make better decisions and fewer mistakes, and allows us to respond to events versus reacting to them. Studies indicate that mindfulness actually increases productivity while there are zero studies on busyness doing so.
These two factors lead us to overcommitting ourselves. We did an exercise last week in a workshop called “What’s on Your Plate?” where participants fill in a picture of a dinner plate with everything they’re dealing with, from work projects to kids to volunteering to family to personal care. One participant commented that she needed a platter because a dinner plate was not big enough. After the plates are filled in and they can see that they have way too much, we ask them to choose 3 areas they could reduce even by 10% or, eliminate altogether through changing expectations, delegating or asking for help.
What’s the first thing to go? Self-care. What’s the one thing you never want to remove from your plate if you want to be well and enjoy success? Self-care. I checked in with Kimberly Smith on how we might shift out of these behaviors and others that limit us, cause us to feel overwhelmed which drastically decreased our well-being, and which basically wears us down.
Kimberly Smith is a Resiliency Coach and founder of Encompass Coaching. She is a native New Yorker, proud Houstonian, truth seeker, mental health advocate, yogi, and mother. Through coaching services, speaking, and writing, Kimberly helps busy and ambitious women suffering from chronic stress and exhaustion, get a grip so they can build mental stamina, increase energy and resilience, excel personally and professionally, and move confidently through life’s challenges and transitions.
Kimberly has a BA in Sociology and Psychology, is an internationally certified life and career coach, and spent 10 years in corporate talent acquisition for a variety of industries. She is a servant leader passionate about dissolving the stigma around mental health, and dedicated to empowering others to live more authentic lives full of passion, purpose, courage, freedom and adventure.
Thanks again to Kimberly for joining us today. If you’re looking for a little peace in a sometimes chaotic world, Kimberly’s free eBook, “the Gift of Calm” is available for download at www.encompasscoachingservices.com. Also visit her website if you’re interested in her Empowered Resilient Woman 90 Day Group Coaching Program that starts June 1st. Enrollment begins May 4th, so check it out soon.
Until next time. Stay well, be kind to yourself and others, and say no whenever you can. And of course, remember to be mindful.
Have a wonderful week!
Mindfulness increases our emotional, physical and mental well-being. It can also enhance our focus and productivity. Perhaps most importantly, mindfulness strengthens our empathy and compassion for others, which I believe we need more of in our world today. So, practice mindfulness in everything you do. Spend at least a little time meditating every day. And remember to be kind to yourself and others.
We’re here to do more than just survive. We can thrive. And it all starts with a mindful moment.
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