Listening to our heart’s true desires and acting upon it is hard.
It is even harder when faced with the fleeting opinions and criticisms that come from the people we love and that our desires directly affect.
When we were little kids, saying ‘no’ because you didn’t want to do something or relentlessly begging your parents for what you did want came fairly easy. It didn’t matter what others thought and it sure as heck didn’t matter if your parents were going crazy from listening to your begging. You wanted what you wanted and you were ok with putting that out there.
But then, something changed. The voices entered your head. You know the ones I mean –those voices that ask you “What if…”
“What if I upset them?” “What if they don’t like me anymore?” “What if I hurt their feelings?” These are examples of the voices that begin to plague the free mind and clog up the heart. These are the voices that stifle our energy by overcommitting and under respecting our own needs. These are the voices that make us say ‘yes’ when we really mean ‘no.’
This is a confession from a former doormat…
Once upon a time, not too long ago, I was a doormat. I allowed people to walk all over me through their actions, behaviors, words, and lies. I never realized that I was allowing such disrespect to penetrate my world until I began to examine what my core values and needs were.
Something was not lining up. The inner torment and fatigue and disappointment that I was experiencing from my outer environment was often directly related to what I allowed from others.
I so badly wanted to please others and make them happy, that I would often compromise my own core values and my precious time. I often stifled that little guiding voice within me and listened to the fears and lies that my mind was telling me – “If you don’t help out, then they will not love you anymore.” “If you say no to that food that you don’t like, you will hurt their feelings and they will be upset and angry.”
Honestly, the worst thing in the world would have been rejection. So, I would put my doormat hat on and I would begin to agree to things faster than you could mutter “I guess.”
Looking back on it, it was horrifying to think how much I disregarded my own personal needs and disrespected my own time, energy levels, and commitments.
But, that is how I got to where I am today. By looking back and learning from my past mistakes and taking inventory of how it was affecting my health and my energy – my life force.
Here is the biggest lesson that I learned –
By saying ‘yes’ when I really meant ‘no,’ I was decreasing my energy and increasing my stress and making the rest of my life more negative, hectic, and chaotic. I was ruining my health.
I was ignoring the innate ability that each of us have to listen deep into our hearts and needs. And because I ignored that voice, I missed some really big opportunities that could have opened doors for me. I missed the voice telling me that I was draining my energy and creating an unhealthy negative inner state. I also missed the voice warning me that I was feeding old fears and setting myself up for future disappointments and obstacles.
That is some heavy stuff right there!
Every time we say ‘yes’ to something that we really don’t want to say ‘yes’ to, we automatically create less room available to enjoy the things we do like. We have chosen to allow more negativity enter our worlds to drag us down instead of choosing those things that we do like to help lift us up.
The more negativity we have existing within us, the less energy and happiness that is able to exist. Period.
After I learned this and saw my patterns, I got super excited because I was beginning to gain clarity of where I needed to start and what I needed to fix. That was about 5 years ago.
Disappointment and self-criticism then set in.
That was when I realized that it was the fears and self-doubts that I struggled with since I was a little girl that was fueling my current behaviors.
Setting ourselves up subconsciously for failure is fueled by our fears. Those fears may stem from old traumas that are apparent to very subtle cues that you observed in your environment over the years of your existence. Those fears may be buried deep within you and they may be more abundant than you realize. If not strategically used to propel us forward, fears can stop us dead in our tracks to success and they can rob us of our natural abundant energy.
It is not until you grant yourself permission to challenge your fears and make a decision that you will no longer tolerate your old behaviors that your landscape will begin to shift.
It is not until you allow yourself to push past the muck of your fears that you can even hear your truest hearts desires and needs. And, at that moment, you will begin to honor what you need and want.
What are 3 things you can do today to begin to learn how to stand your ground and not say ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no?’
- List out your core values and what is most important to you in this life and repeat them out loud daily. When you have a definitive list and you repeat that list out loud regularly, you begin to become hyper aware of when actions occur in your environment that just do not line up. And, when you notice these misalignments, it is much easier to step back answer more accurately what you should do. Things become more real.
- Slow down your mind and rekindle your connection with your inner voice. This is so important! We live in a world that is going so fast every moment of every day, sometimes even faster than a New York minute. A chaotic mind that is operating this fast will never truly hear the quite whispers within yourself. To slow down the mind is to respect your heart and to hear what it says with more clarity. Daily connecting is key. Not only will it allow time for your mind to slow, but it also strengthens your mental muscle to do so. Try meditation, journaling, going for a mindful walk outside, or any other mindful activity that brings your awareness to the here and now.
- Pick one fear and DECIDE that you are going to walk through it. No matter how scary it may seem and no matter how much anxiety it will raise, making the decision that you will walk through the fear so that you can live by what is most important to you is key. Making the decision to walk through the fear is always harder than being on the other side of that fear. Once you commit and do it, the rest will actually raise your energy and create a certain sense of relief.
For example, I started with an action that was scary but not as scary as other actions. I DECIDED that when my grandpa would try to bait me into doing something that he thought was urgent and it did not align with my schedule or with what I believed in, I would say ‘no’ (even though I wanted to please them, be a ‘good’ granddaughter, and say ‘yes.’) So, when he offered me a piece of “the best ring bologna in the world,” something that I do not enjoy or have any desire to eat, the old doormat would say ‘yes’ and I would choke it down with a smile and lie to him that I thought it was good. Instead, I politely declined and said ‘no’ with a fast beating fearful heart and a worry of disappointing him. Well, he was not pleased. Actually, he was down right pissed off. He swore a bit and took that ring bologna and threw it across the room, hitting the ceiling fan, and allowing it to propel through the kitchen like a bird flying through the room. Yeah, it was super uncomfortable, but I felt empowered when I left the house and I was one step further towards squashing my self-conscious fears. It was a good decision for me. Maybe not for the ring bologna.
It has been a long self-discovering process that got me to where I am today. And, yes, I still make mistakes at times and find myself questioning why I ‘yes’ when I really meant ‘no,” but it gets easier and easier every time.
I am here to say, YES, you can do it! YES, it is possible! NO, you don’t have live by what other people want you to do or think you should do!
It is ok to say ‘no’ when your heart wants something different and it is absolutely vital to pay yourself and your time the respect it deserves. It is the foundation of abundant energy and health. And, it is the foundation of you creating a healthy life you love to live!
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Do you want to learn more? This was a just a snippet into how you can apply this to your own life. If you are craving more and need to make a change in your life right now (or even if you are scared and don’t know what to do), I am here to guide you in the right direction. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about what you can do to get you from where you are now to where you always dreamed you wanted to be.
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