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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Just discovered you over at MustLoveHome. Wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your great ‘do. I am longing to wear my hair short but everyone in my life votes for me to keep it longer. Boo! I should use this article and just say NO!
Your advice above is so valuable. I particularly like the idea that by saying no, one is empowering someone else to step up to the plate. How very true. I tend to be a type A person who wants to do everything because I want to do everything MY WAY. I have had to learn to let go a little here and there and acknowledge that someone else can do an equally or even better job than I…just maybe in a different way. Great post.
Hi Leslie, I’m so glad you found me! Yes, I have had friends like you in the past whose family didn’t support the shorter hair idea 🙁 But you know, sometimes people say that because they are afraid of change and when it’s all done they really do like it. Maybe you could start it with something that’s not quite as drastic as mine to start and then cut it in stages…gives people a chance to adjust 😉
Shellie, I agree….saying no is a good thing to find time for things we each need to spend time on, I think it makes for a better me!!
Thanks for Co-Hosting me each week, see you this week.
Have a wonderful week!
It does Karren, we can only do so much!
This is perfect! Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you taking the time to party with us! I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, so we get to see your fabulous new creations. The party goes until Friday at 7 pm. Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls
Hey, you did good on Periscope, that was brave and liberating. We certainly do need to find a balance and some wisdom between ‘yes’ and ‘no. May we all find the right balance for our life situation.
Fridays Blog Booster Party #32
Thanks Kathleen, now if I could get the internet speed to cooperate I might actually try the Periscope again in the future 😉
No! ….just kidding. Good reminder, though. #BlogShareLearn
Haha, thanks for stopping by Anna!
I’m 10years older than you Shellie but I am totally in sync with your message. I was always one to try to say yes to please everyone. The great advantage of ageing is being more comfortable with who we are and what we need from life. Great post and I enjoyed your Periscope. I’ve yet to dive into that medium! #FridayBlogBooster party
I still say yes, but I am learning to prioritize my time a lot better!
getting the yes/no balance right is such a challenge….but one I’m getting better at with age too! It’s so important to leave room for yourself and investing in things that nurture you as a person rather than draining yourself dry trying to be all and do all!
Hi Leanne, I find that especially true on the cusp of the empty nest. After so many years doing for your kids, you just want to try something for yourself.
Truer words have never been spoken! I was older before I learned that I can say “no” without guilt (well, almost lol). Good to co-host with you at #OMHGWW!
Thanks Donna. I still say yes plenty of times 😉
I talked to my therapist about this very subject this week. Bookmarking to reread when I need the encouragement!
I am glad this post could meet you right where you are Kristy. It can be hard for us people-pleasers to consider stepping back from people’s expectations or what we assume they expect. Thanks for stopping by.
Love this – especially the part about saying no to things so that you can develop new skills & talents. That is where I am now as I am learning about blogging & preparing to launch my blog.
Hi Cathy, I’m so glad you stopped by! Blogging will definitely give you an opportunity to develop a host of new skills.