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The Price of Saying “No”

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I never thought that I had a problem putting my foot down (most people would equate me with an aggressive personality type; one not afraid to say what she thinks). But recently, I have become overwhelmingly aware that I actually have a problem with drawing a line in the sand—for myself. I’m not sure whether it is a need to do everything, or more a fear of not doing everything, but either way, I have a problem saying “No.” As a result, this has started to manifest itself in an extreme amount of stress on my psychological wellbeing. Luckily, there haven’t been any major physical reactions … yet.


Although one could argue that this is a positive realization, it is at the same time devastating. I am the type of person who is happiest when I’m busy and don’t have enough time in the day. I thrive on trying new and exciting things, taking on new challenges and being as involved as I can. My philosophy? Life is just too short to not take full advantage of everything the world has to offer. And, as a result, this epiphany that I can’t say “no” implies that I need to do something I hate: sacrifice. 


My overly “eager beaver” attitude comes with a price. And for that matter, a price that, if not kept in check, can be extremely high. Not having the ability to say ‘No’ can result in physical health issues, mental health issues, or what I feel to be even worse, failing. Unless you are a superhero (and let’s face it, Wonder Woman and Superman were great role models but we know they don’t really exist), it is impossible to do everything.


So, in order to prevent a stress related breakdown, physical illness or failure, something has to give. From a personal perspective, this is just not in my make-up and the idea of it is highly distasteful. It means I have to give up something that I don’t want to give up. It means making choices instead of having choices. It means admitting that, indeed, I’m incapable, physically and emotionally, of doing it all. How very disappointing.


So why am I burdening you with my issues? Because, I can’t help but wonder how many of us suffer from the very same thing. How many of us are trying to do it all and end up feeling stretched so thin, that the idea of flying off to some distant land to escape from all of the built up pressure, doesn’t seem like the best idea we’ve ever had? 


Do you feel that you stretch yourself too thin? Do you have a hard time saying no? If so, what drives you to continually say, yes?


Originally published on SheerBalance

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