Do you ever catch yourself saying something along these lines?
I’m so tired.
I’m so behind.
(Friend: How are things going?) Busy.
There are just not enough hours in the day.
I can’t wait until this week is over.
I just need to catch up.
Once _______ gets done, then I will ________.
I can’t wait until the holidays are over. Then I’ll start doing ______.
Yes, I will be there! (10 minutes later: Oh my goodness, why did I say I would do that?!?).
Fear of missing out (FOMO).
I used to say all of those lines. Every.single.one.
I’ve worked on becoming very aware of how/why/when I say “I’m busy” or “I’m overwhelmed” during the last 2 years because before that I took on anything and everything (hello overachiever, perfectionist, go-getter?)…which led to adrenal fatigue and a big hard crash.
And yet…I did it again these last couple of weeks. I crashed – majorly. It took 4 days of “me” time to re-find my motivation/inspiration to want to do anything – support, be a friend, be a wife, wash my hair, answer my phone, clean the house, write an email, not wear yoga clothes… or just move.
Over the past several years, I’ve drastically reduced the amount of commitments I make. It’s made me happier. More purposeful with my time. Develop stronger relationships. More present with the people I am with. AND a whole heck of a lot less resentful.
But, why do I still have this urge to say yes? Over-prove? Over-achieve? I’ve had enough conversations with women to know I’m definitely not alone.
Why do we feel the NEED to over-commit and be superwomen?
Our worth is not dependent on how much we take on, accomplish, or say yes to.
How we feel at any point in our lives creates our experience of that instance. If we are too busy, too committed, too distracted, and plain overwhelmed, we will never feel the way we desire to feel (or we may just stop feeling).
We will always feel like we are missing out on something in life and “off” and end up reaching for anything to stuff in to fill that void – shopping, food, romantic relationship, tv, career “success,” social media, etc.
Going against this status quo of over-committing, over-proving, and under-joyfulness takes courage, bravery, and commitment. Commitment to yourself.
5 WAYS TO CHANGE YOUR COMMITMENTS
1. Choose discomfort over resentment. You know that moment when someone asks you to do something or attend something and you don’t want to feel bad (i.e. discomfort) by saying no? So you say “yes,” and then you resent that event, task, or person for the next 1, 6, 15+ days? Brene Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection and researcher on vulnerability and shame, introduced me to this mantra…choose discomfort over resentment. Choose those 15 seconds of discomfort by saying no to others so you can say yes to yourself and banish the resentment. Repeat this mantra to yourself before any commitment you make.
2. Straight up cancel. I am all about honoring our commitments and word. But if there is something that you keep putting off that you can straight up cancel – then straight up cancel it. Write the email to let a friend know you can’t make it to her event because of your needs, make the phone call that says you can’t bring 6 dozen cookies to the bake sale (or make the call to order the cookies from somewhere), look at your calendar and see what you can cancel and make “you” time. There will always be something to do or an excuse – so it’s up to you to identify what you can straight up cancel. Most things are only as important and dire as we make them.
3. If it’s not a “hell yes,” it’s a “hell no.” One of my business mentors, Marie Forleo, says that when an opportunity presents itself, if you don’t feel that gut urge to say yes (“hell yes”), then it’s a no.
4. Choose things that make you feel the way you want to feel and do them fabulously. Return to your core desired feelings – if an opportunity arises that supports those feelings and self-care tasks, then enjoy, if not, say no – with gumption and grace.
5. 2-commitment weekend. We often jam pack our weekends with events and to-dos, leaving no time to actually rest. Nip that habit in the bud – only say yes to 2 commitments on the weekend and then let the rest of the time be free-flow. Many religions offer a Sabbath for this type of free-flow, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Choose one day to be free-flow or set a boundary on the number of commitments. This allows you to choose your life and run your life, not your life and commitments running you.
WORRIED HOW TO ACTUALLY SAY “NO”?
Keep it simple. Keep it honest: “Thank you so much for thinking of me. Right now, I won’t be able to attend ______/do ______ but I (wish you all the best/would love to be notified when another opportunity arises/am so excited for you!/etc.).”