Your best friend calls. She’s had a fight with her boyfriend. Your sister sends you a text. She needs help with the kids tomorrow afternoon so she can get to the massage appointment she scheduled for herself a month ago. Your boss calls and asks if you can show up to work an hour earlier than usual and plan to work an extra shift because a co-worker just called in sick. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
When your friend called, you were about to run out the door for a jog. You had your own massage scheduled for tomorrow and had made plans to meet up with another friend after work tonight. But, how can you tell these people who need you about your own plans? You decide you can’t. You won’t. You’ll suck it up and be there for those reaching out to you. After all, they need your help more than you need anything for yourself. Right?
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Does nurturing others sound familiar? Is it normal for you to set aside your own needs? Do you sometimes dismiss that you have needs of your own?
After you call everyone back and let them know you’ll be there, you look in the mirror and wonder where your youthful glow has gone. You wonder when you lost the sparkle in your eyes. You fail to see the connection between your need to nurture everyone else and your feeling of exhaustion. How long can you go on like this, giving to everyone else—putting them first and you last—before you have nothing left to give? The long and short answer is not for long. A lot more is at stake than your glow and sparkle. As hard as it is to lose your luster, even worse will be the loss of your health and vitality.
This month, I invite you to make a promise to reconnect with your diamond power, that radiance you were born with—your authentic YOU. How can you begin to rediscover your vibrant self? The first place to start is to practice saying the word “NO.” Go ahead—say it with me now. NO! Say it again. Say it over and over until it doesn’t cause you to get a knot in your stomach. See if you can say it until you actually smile as you speak the word.
Next, practice saying the word “YES.” Go ahead and say it now. YES! Visualize saying “yes” to something you desire for yourself and continue to say it until you’re able to say “yes” with ease.
Now that you’ve practiced saying these two little words, think of situations when you’ve said “yes” to someone else but really wanted to say “no.” Consider why you weren’t able to say “no.”
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• Were you trying to please someone else?
• Did you want to be liked or accepted by that person?
• Were you programmed from childhood to put yourself last?
• Were you raised to believe that saying “yes” to yourself meant you were acting selfishly?
• Were you afraid of losing love if you said “no”?
Saying “no” to someone else means that you will be able to say “yes” to you. It represents showing yourself love in the same way you strive to show others love. Saying “yes” to you is healthy! It is a means of nurturing and honoring yourself.