The Power of Saying "No"



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Photo By Isaiah Rustad On Unsplash


By Olivia Lucero



Saying “no” is incredibly important during the mending process because it teaches you to set boundaries. Boundaries are all about having the discipline to do more of what makes you better and less of what makes you worse. During a heartbreak, these lines can be blurred. We find ourselves saying yes to everything that has even a minor potential of making us feel better, leaving us with hours of social media stalking and a schedule full of distractions that make us feel empty and unheard rather than on the mending journey. Instead of overwhelming yourself, try to say no sometimes, too. Heartbreak makes us feel terrible, and the only things we should be spending resources on are those that grow us and help us mend.

Setting boundaries are one way to increase your mindfulness (no meditation required) because you become much more aware of what you invest yourself in. Here’s how saying no and setting boundaries gives you a deeper appreciation of your three resources: time, talent, and treasure.

Time

Think of some things that waste your time. For example:
1. Rereading texts with your ex.
2. Social gatherings with people who you have outgrown.
3. Checking social media impulsively rather than for a purpose.
4. Going on dates with people who have different intentions than you.

When you start saying no to wasting your time, you will come to value it so much more. Your time is a non-repleting resource and the most valuable one you’ve got. You can build skills and make money but you will never get back the time that you waste. Instead of sitting at a lame social gathering and checking your phone out of boredom, you could be doing something fun or productive with people you admire. You don't have to say "yes" everytime people invite you out. Make sure you especially don't say yes to something you don't care much for if you already promised yourself you'd get something else done during that time. The more you learn to say no to wasting time, the more you will learn to respect it, and the more careful you will be about how you spend it. Setting boundaries around how you spend your time starts a chain reaction of saying no to things that also waste your talent and your treasure.

Talent

Think of some of your strengths. For example:
1. Patience, empathy
2. Painting, sketching, drawing
3. Sports

When you say no to doing things that will waste your time, you find yourself doing things that you are drawn to, with people who appreciate your talent. Pay attention to what those things are because when you cultivate new skills, they can become strengths. This self-growth and self-awareness are awesome for your mending process. When you know your strengths you will have a deeper appreciation for yourself, and a deeper awareness for what you can contribute to the world. If you are very patient, you can volunteer with crisis counseling or family mediation. If you are good at visual art, you can make it a side hustle, or volunteer to teach others to embrace their creativity. If you are good at sports, you can help kids release aggression by cultivating this skill. Talents can often be exploited just for money or fame. But, when you truly appreciate your own talents, it becomes more than just a job. It becomes a way for you to grow and to help others grow as well.

Treasure

What are some things you spend your money on? Maybe:
1. Lunch “dates” you felt obligated to go on.
2. Supplies and books for school/work that you know you won’t use or read.
3. Groceries, because the produce went bad before you could eat it.

When you say no to spending your money frivolously, it teaches you to make the most of what you already have, which helps you to build gratitude. Gratitude is super helpful for mending your heart and leads you to a more joyful life. You might even learn new skills in the process, like cooking new dishes to make sure your produce gets used up, and meal prepping to save on lunch money. By creating boundaries on your budget, you have to ask yourself “will this item actually help me in a way nothing else I own can?” This definitely helps you to grow in creativity with how you use what you have and helps you to build new life skills. It also builds a deeper appreciation for all the resources you are responsible for: your items, your money, your time, and your talents.

“No” is such a powerful word. It sets boundaries that keep you on the track of self care and self-discipline. Boundaries can be hard to stick to, but it takes discipline to take care of yourself and always choose what’s best for you in the long run rather than what you would prefer to do right now. It helps you to realize who you want to be, who you want to allow into your life, what kind of energy you want to maintain, and what kind of habits will help you to grow and to mend. Hopefully, this guide helps you to appreciate your resources a little bit more.

writer photo

Olivia Lucero

Olivia studied romantic relationships and personal development for four years at The University of Texas at Austin. A true free spirit, she recently returned to America after farming in Ireland for a few months. Find her at her blog, Free Reins.

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