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How To Stop Saying Yes To Everything

Updated: Feb 22

As women, as moms, as caregivers, we are often stretch ourselves beyond our limits, putting others first and putting our own needs last.

All this does is leave us exhausted, overwhelmed, and short of being the best version of ourselves.

Why Do We Do This?

Often, it is because we are too focused on being PEOPLE PLEASERS. I used to be a serial people pleaser, and truth be told, I still have to constantly work at this. People pleasing comes from a good place. We want to care for others, to make the people around us happy.

But putting others first shouldn't mean putting yourself last. Chronic people pleasers often let their want to make others happy take them to an unhealthy place. If you are an unhealthy people pleaser, you may let boundaries be overstepped, and may fail to advocate for yourself. In turn people pleasers will often refuse to say "no" to things out of fear of hurting other people's feelings.

How do we fix it?

If you want to recover from being a people pleaser, I have some tips to help. While I am by no means perfectly resolved from this, I have learned a few ways to stay on track. With these tips you may be able to learn to advocate for yourself and stop saying yes to everything!

1. Don’t apologize for being booked.

You may feel like you owe people a reason for saying no. You don't. Simply say "I am not available at this time, but I may be available at X time."

2. Redraw your boundaries.

Set boundaries if you don't already have them. Take a look at your schedule - do you have time set aside for yourself? Do you have time set aside for your family? Most importantly, if something comes along that could potentially be at the same time as that, what will your response be?

If you set boundaries ahead of time, you're more likely to stick with them during decision time.

3. Consider what you're saying yes to.

Each time you say yes to something out of guilt or obligation again, consider what it is you're saying yes to. First of all, you are saying yes to the notion that your time is flexible, that you don't have set boundaries. You are also saying yes to something that you don't truly want to do, and giving your time away to something that doesn't truly inspire you.

Or think about it this way: each time you begrudgingly say yes to a request, you are saying no to something else. You are saying no to something else you are actually interested in. You are saying no to creating your own schedule.

What can you say yes to?

If you don’t carve out time for yourself or your career, you cannot be the best version of yourself to others. Vow to let go of the guilt and focus on something for YOU, something that is at the back of your priority list but the front of your mind.

What is one step you can take toward what you want for you in the new year?

Is it:

  • Scheduling a coffee with a friend?

  • Attending a seminar?

  • Writing a short story

  • Cleaning up your resume?


Think about how your schedule is shaped by your people-pleasing mindset. Taking back your schedule begins with owning your people pleasing tendencies.

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