It's totally OK to say 'No'

Written by Hayley Strawbridge - Founder of Love From You

I am naturally a “Yes” girl, saying “No” has been something I’ve had to learn to do (and if I’m really honest, I’m still learning to say no).

Coming from a split family I’ve had to work really hard to achieve the things I’ve wanted. However, sometimes I work harder rather than smarter and at times I’ve suffered the consequences.

I realised I was afraid of saying no because I didn’t want to be seen as weak, unsuccessful or unseen. I’ve always wanted to please people and I thought that if I said yes to everything, I would achieve just that. The problem with being a people pleaser is that I was putting everyone else’s needs before my own and in fact, what actually happened is I burnt out.

About two years ago it all came to a head. I was working in a corporate role that had become incredibly stressful due to a gradual increase in the amount of work that was required of me. There simply weren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done, let alone to the standard I wanted. I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt just thinking about saying no.

I finally reached my breaking point. My health, relationships and mental wellbeing were all suffering and I physically and emotionally couldn’t do it anymore. And in that moment, I realised that I didn’t want to spend my life trying to please others. I learnt that it’s OK to say no when you know those things aren’t healthy for you or when you know they will end up draining your mental wellbeing.

Saying no allows you to value and respect yourself enough to stand up for your beliefs and your self-worth.