During a rare moment of TV watching last week, I got caught up in an episode of Oprah's Life Class. Think what you will of Oprah...this show had me riveted to my seat. Oprah openly confessed to having what she affectionately referred to as a "Disease to Please”.
Whaaat??? I sat back on my couch with my mouth slightly agape. To hear a powerful woman like Oprah admit to having the same affliction that many of us "Yes-Women" suffer from was nothing short of validating. All right, then! What's the cure? I quickly assumed the "edge of my seat" position once more.
Wait for it….
The cure is to practice, apply and repeat the use of one word whenever appropriate. That word is, "No".
I felt slightly deflated by what seemed to be a rather common sense solution however when I quickly reviewed my life to date, I realized that I’ve rarely used that simple word. I’ve often been too busy thinking about how things should be and what other people might think or say if I turned down a request that my heart just wasn't into. I have often wanted to ensure the happiness of other and at times it’s been at the expense of my own. There was very little joy left to feed my soul when everyone else at the table had been served.
I have a feeling that I am not alone in my keen observation.
So for this reason, I am going to rise to the call of self-love and self-empowerment. It's time to establish a few boundaries and exercise a bit of assertion in an effort to be better for myself and those around me. For example:
Question: "Can you take on an extra three files today?"
Answer: "No, I am actively working on the six from last week and they have tight deadlines."
Question: "Why don't you come out to the bar tonight? I promise we'll have you home by midnight!"
Answer: "No, I'm looking forward to catching up on some rest tonight. Hope you all have fun!"
Question: "Are you going to get the baby ready for bed? He seems pretty cranky."
Answer" "Actually, no. I think that it would be a good idea if you took over tonight. It'll be good bonding time for both of you."
Wow! I'm looking forward to trying this out :) I encourage anyone reading this to break free of the shackles of what is expected and forge your own path. If that's too committal, just once try doing something different that goes against the grain of the everyday but makes you happy. Happiness is often derived from simply doing what feels right to you.
Please note that there may be some people in your circle that won't be jumping for joy over what may seem to be push-back or resistance. That's up to them to work out and don't even try to take that on. The people that truly love you and want what's best for you will come around and cheer for you from the sidelines. Hell, they might even get in the game! They are what I affectionately call, "The Keepers".
Until the next post my friends.....