Sunday, February 3, 2008

Balance through Saying "No"

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:29 PM
The next tool for achieving balance is one that we, as women, tend to have an especially hard time with. Many of us have never put it in our tool box of life, and others let it get buried so far down it hardly ever gets used. This tool is the ability to say “no.” Such a simple little word, such a difficult thing to say. Because we often tie our self-definition in the things we do (which is no wonder, with all that we have to do) we feel that we should do whatever we are asked. Especially if it’s a good thing and most especially if it’s something that we enjoy doing. We life in a world that is full of opportunities of every kind, which is great, but people (okay, I) often want to take hold of every opportunity. Which is, of course, impossible and leaves me feeling overwhelmed.
Our culture pushes us to be “overachievers.” It starts in school. The more activities you’re involved in, the more community services you perform, the higher your grades, the better college you’ll get into. Once you’re at college you’re encouraged to continue in this race of high grades and extra-curricular activities to be able to land the best job. Then many people start the rat race in the business world to keep moving up in the world. Even though many mom don’t join the business rat race, the same thing takes place in the world of moms. Instead of promotions, it’s being on the Parent Teacher Association, or being room mom, or making sure that your child is signed up for the right amount of activities, while still contributing to your community in a helpful way. Not all moms do this. I have a good friend who is in no way whatsoever compelled to take on the world like I am. She’s perfectly content to be at home, take care of her family, and do one or two extra things for them. She has learned the art of saying no when it’s appropriate and her family, I believe, benefits from it.
Just like any new habit saying no takes practice. You may even start with “I’ll think about it,” which is a good tool to let you actually think about whether this is something that you should take on or whether it doesn’t fit in your goals and objectives. It also gives you a chance to consider how your family would be affected. I came across an opportunity recently that I would have loved to taken advantage of. It was something right up my ally. As I thought about it, though, I realized that it would take time that I didn’t want to take from my family and that it would possibly also cause conflict in my family. It wouldn’t be worth what it would cost me, and it felt good to say no, even if it was just to myself.

1 comments on "Balance through Saying "No""

Robyn Malvasia on February 7, 2008 at 8:08 AM said...

I especially have had a hard time with this in the past. I finally learned when I wore myself out from taking care of everyone else and ministries before my family and oh yeah, me.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Balance through Saying "No"

The next tool for achieving balance is one that we, as women, tend to have an especially hard time with. Many of us have never put it in our tool box of life, and others let it get buried so far down it hardly ever gets used. This tool is the ability to say “no.” Such a simple little word, such a difficult thing to say. Because we often tie our self-definition in the things we do (which is no wonder, with all that we have to do) we feel that we should do whatever we are asked. Especially if it’s a good thing and most especially if it’s something that we enjoy doing. We life in a world that is full of opportunities of every kind, which is great, but people (okay, I) often want to take hold of every opportunity. Which is, of course, impossible and leaves me feeling overwhelmed.
Our culture pushes us to be “overachievers.” It starts in school. The more activities you’re involved in, the more community services you perform, the higher your grades, the better college you’ll get into. Once you’re at college you’re encouraged to continue in this race of high grades and extra-curricular activities to be able to land the best job. Then many people start the rat race in the business world to keep moving up in the world. Even though many mom don’t join the business rat race, the same thing takes place in the world of moms. Instead of promotions, it’s being on the Parent Teacher Association, or being room mom, or making sure that your child is signed up for the right amount of activities, while still contributing to your community in a helpful way. Not all moms do this. I have a good friend who is in no way whatsoever compelled to take on the world like I am. She’s perfectly content to be at home, take care of her family, and do one or two extra things for them. She has learned the art of saying no when it’s appropriate and her family, I believe, benefits from it.
Just like any new habit saying no takes practice. You may even start with “I’ll think about it,” which is a good tool to let you actually think about whether this is something that you should take on or whether it doesn’t fit in your goals and objectives. It also gives you a chance to consider how your family would be affected. I came across an opportunity recently that I would have loved to taken advantage of. It was something right up my ally. As I thought about it, though, I realized that it would take time that I didn’t want to take from my family and that it would possibly also cause conflict in my family. It wouldn’t be worth what it would cost me, and it felt good to say no, even if it was just to myself.

1 comments:

Robyn Malvasia said...

I especially have had a hard time with this in the past. I finally learned when I wore myself out from taking care of everyone else and ministries before my family and oh yeah, me.

 

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