When no means yes

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Do you often find yourself in situations where you feel pushed beyond your limits, exhausted or overwhelmed? When the summer is in full swing it is so easy to keep on saying yes, out of habit, to dinners, dancing and of course more clients to make the most of the opportunities for business.

Yet knowing what your boundaries are is vital for ensuring that you can avoid burn out.

Mentally, physically and emotionally – when we push ourselves too far (or allow ourselves to be pushed) we experience ever-increasing spirals of emotional and physical fallout. However the biggest challenge are quite possibly our (drum roll please) reactions – emotional-physical responses to situations that often are not altogether accurate or untrue.

These little gremlins (or perhaps yours are large gremlins!) are easily triggered, especially when we’re hungover (a summer hazard!), over-tired (another), when experiencing hormonal fluctuations or high stress levels. Sound familiar?

How do we interrupt these patterns? How do we stop situations from spiraling out of control? Why do we keep attracting the same situations, people, pressures and stresses, despite our best efforts not to?

Once you become aware that something in your life doesn’t feel good any more, you have created an awareness that is your springboard for making a positive change. Just by knowing and accepting the fact.

Of course, here on the white island we are very conscious that it is absolutely possible to have far too much of a good thing, and while it’s fun for a while, it can become too much. When it does eventually feel too much, you need to create some internal space before saying YES to anything else or taking on any more responsibilities.

Before you respond to any requests, pressures or demands, take a step back – don’t just think about what you have been asked to do, give, attend or otherwise – feel it in your body.  Do you have any resistance? Are you worried about letting the other person down?

Look at the whole situation as if in a big picture – look at the whole event, the party, the night out, the workload, the location, whatever the case may be and consider whether your presence, when exhausted and stressed out will contribute or take away from the overall vibe or outcome of the event?

If the answer is no, you need to reiterate this. The world will keep on turning, there will be another party next week or the work will get done the following day. What’s important is that now, in this moment, you fill yourself up with the energy, the choices, the life experiences that are right – the ones that nourish you enable you to keep giving to others too, naturally.

The most resourceful thing you can do – to manage yourself and maintain your wellbeing – is to fill your cup first, keep the sources of your health and happiness fully stoked and properly cared for so you can go with the flow more easily and spread your good vibes on to others too. In other words, it’s totally ok to look out for number one.

So for the next week ahead, we ask you to make yourself the priority. Say NO at the right times, and YES to you. You can thank us later!

Larah Davis offers one-to-one life coaching and also within one-day retreats at Atzaro Spa.