Saying Yes To The Things That Matter
I've always been a yes person. I'm a chronic people pleaser, and also hate confrontation, so whenever I'm asked to do something, I pretty much always say yes. In the past this has seen me work shifts at two jobs, meet a friend for lunch and head off on a night out all in the space of 24 hours. More recently, it's meant I've tried to visit every member of my family in a single weekend while also writing two sponsored posts and packing for a work trip. Basically - saying yes to everything was leaving me burnt out and with no time for myself.
At the beginning of 2018, I knew something had to change. I spent most of last year so busy that I barely had any down time, and I knew that wasn't sustainable - or fun - for me long term. So I started making a conscious effort to slow down a little bit, and with that came the decision to stop saying yes to everything.
It hasn't been an easy process and I've learnt a lot about myself along the way. When I first started saying no back in January, I was constantly looking for an excuse that would get me off the hook or stop me from appearing rude. I'd blame my work schedule or go on about something that needed doing in the house. But as time has gone on, I've felt more confident with politely turning an offer down without my mouth going into justification overdrive.
It's been interesting from a blogging perspective too. I often feel so grateful that any brand would want to work with me and this blog that I feel obliged to say yes to every offer, but this year I've been really considering the projects I want to work on. For the first time ever, I've turned down more work than I've accepted - this blog isn't my full time income, so it makes sense to only agree to the campaigns that make me really excited.
And I think that has been the biggest lesson for me - saying no to the things that aren't a priority for me has given me so much more time and space to say yes to the things that really matter. It's freed up money, weekends and whole days of annual leave to do the things that make my heart feel like it's about to burst.
Things like cooking a huge roast dinner for my family on a Sunday afternoon, or staying in the bath for half an hour longer to finish my book. Things like booking a spa weekend away with the girls or heading out for a spontaneous date night with my husband.
I can really throw myself into the projects I do take on because I've got more time to enjoy them, and I find myself reaching for my phone less when I'm with friends or family because I'm less paranoid about missing an important email or keeping up with a Whatsapp conversation.
It might sound simple to a lot of you, but it has been revolutionary for someone like me who has spent their whole life trying to keep everyone happy. Saying no has allowed me to be more present, more mindful and more passionate about my life. It's allowed me to connect more with the things and people who are important to me and to nurture the projects that really mean something.
Quite simply, saying no has allowed me to say a hearty YES to things that matter.