We often hear aging used in negative terms; whether it’s beating the signs of aging or dealing with feeling of invisibility as we age, to name a few. Both of these are great examples of how we over-40 girls are consistently fed a line that aging is a barrier that we have to overcome.
While I don’t want to discount the emotional struggles that we all face from time to time, I also feel that being over 40 brings some distinct advantages. Periodically, I will be pointing out the perks of being over 40
As I age, I continue to grow and I’ve developed an increased confidence. One huge step forward was learning to say no. I have always been a people-pleaser. I like to satisfy people and make them happy. In my younger years, this usually meant that I said yes to everything, regardless of my own feelings or inclinations.
However, as I’ve aged, I’ve come to realize that my ready willingness to please others often left me overworked and, at times, exhausted. Saying no doesn’t mean you are a bad person. Instead, it means that you care enough about yourself and those you love to consider your limits and boundaries.
Setting limits and boundaries helps you to set a course for yourself. Consider them road maps for your future that help to set your direction.
Trying Out A Little Video
I decided it’s time to branch out by trying a little video. This video was done on the new Periscope platform. Some of you may not be familiar with Periscope. It’s a live streaming video format designed by Twitter that allows people to watch and interact with you in real time.
So far, I have done two broadcasts. The first one was more of a trial-and-error broadcast. I am including the second here today. Please forgive me if the video content is not stellar. I am dealing with low-light and Asian wifi, which is not the dream combination.
But still, I think some of you will enjoy having an opportunity to hear my thoughts instead of just reading them.
Saying “no” frees you up to explore your strengths and talents. Developing skills requires practice, which in turn requires time. Even if you have a natural talent for something, you typically need practice to increase your skills and proficiency. Saying yes to endless activities leaves little time to explore or develop your real passions.
Saying no doesn’t mean you are a bad person. In fact, saying no to too many responsibilities actual helps you avoid situations where you can’t give your best.
People will often choose the path of least resistance. If they know you to be a person who always steps up to get things done, most often they will just sit back and let you do the work. However, by stepping back from saying yes to every opportunity, you create an environment for others to step in. In essence, saying “no” can actually empower others who may have been too intimidated to step out.
Change is tough, so expect some resistance at first. It can take a while for people to adjust their expectations, especially when they know they will be called upon to take up the slack. Many times people aren’t even aware how heavily they lean on you until they are called to stand on their own two feet.
Saying no doesn’t mean that you are a bad person or that you don’t care about others. But it is a sign that you are growing up and taking control of your life and schedule.
I should put in one qualifier for some of you who may always find yourself saying no. If you are a person who refuses everything for fear of rejection, embarrassment or lack of motivation, then you need just the opposite advice.
Life lived well always involves a series of risks. If you are one who fears saying yes, I would encourage you to follow the tips above in reverse. Saying yes can press you to explore new opportunities and it also allows you to be vulnerable to others. It’s valuable and empowering to feel need and be needed by others in return.
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