July 3 is Disobedience Day(it’s a thing, look it up), meant to celebrate and appreciate those who have used civil disobedience to fight injustice in the world. In honor of this day, I wanted to share my favorite act of protest. It’s a single word that, once uttered, marks a commitment to honoring one’s needs and boundaries. That magical word, my love, is “No.”In a world that rewards women for taking on more than they can handle and pushes women to wear their exhaustion as a badge of honor, saying “No” accomplishes four things:
1) it communicates self-sovereignty and lets bitches know you are not “controllable”
2) it distinguishes your needs from other people’s expectations,
3) it frees up your time to do more of the things you actually want to be doing, and
4) it prevents emotional and physical drain.
If you’re anything like me, you go out of your way to be considerate of other people’s feelings. You may take on commitments when you’re already feeling stretched thin. You might avoid having difficult conversations(including negotiations–stop cheating yourself!) Or maybe you spend a lot of energy trying to anticipate other people’s responses. But the tendency to put other people’s needs before your own will inevitably lead to burnout. Energy is a not an endless reserve; it’s a resource that needs to be continually replenished and restored. But you can’t recharge unless you a)acknowledge your limits, and b)give yourself permission to disappoint other people. So…basically…“No” is non-negotiable. Saying “No” is the hardest skill to master when you’re finding your voice, but it’s the most necessary; until you make the decision to put your needs first, your fierce and free life will always be just out of your reach.
Real shit alert: The number one reason you get overwhelmed is because you’ve failed to set adequate boundaries.You teach people how to treat you, so unless you draw a line, you can expect to feel depleted and over it all. At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to articulate what matters to you. And a simple “No” can get you there. “No” is a complete sentence. You don’t need an elaborate excuse, and you don’t need to follow it up with “I’m sorry.” But if the thought of saying “No” to a loved one or authority figure really does make you sick to your stomach, remember that most people aren’t psychics and will have no reason to believe you’re not Super Woman unless you say something. Saying “Yes” when you mean “No” builds resentment; saying “No” when you mean it prevents long-term damage to the relationship.
Absolutely NO ONE is entitled to your time; saying “No” reminds people that your boundaries are bulletproof and communicates that being on your schedule is a privilege, not a right. Sharing your boundaries indicates that you trust someone enough to be vulnerable and weeds out the emotional vampires that are using you to meet their needs. So, in honor of Disobedience Day, I urge you to step into your power say “No” to something today. Stop settling, and start standing up for yourself!
Just wondering: What are you settling for that you should be refusing? What is one thing that you can start saying “no” to today? Let me know in the comments section.