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Sweet biscuit sugar plum. Halvah chocolate bar jujubes. Dragée donut candy.

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How to Stop Overcommitting.

Because It’s Okay to Say “No.”

We say yes a lot, and if you’re anything like us you might have a habit of saying it when you don’t always mean it. We do this for so many reasons – we don’t want to say no in fear that we won’t be asked to hang out again, we might fear disappointing someone by not agreeing to help, or we might worry about being perceived as lazy or unproductive. Whatever the reason is, by justifying why we constantly need to satisfy others, we in turn our betraying our own self-respect. The thing is, your time is never less worthy than someone else’s. Once we reconnect with our awareness and see how truly valuable our time, space and energy are, we can be better equipped to know where to set our boundaries and how to honor them; and sometimes that means saying “No.”

ARE YOU overcommitting?

Ask yourself these 5 questions.

  1. Do I feel guilty or obligated to say yes?

  2. Is overcommitting cutting into my sleep?

  3. Am I neglecting rest?

  4. Am I afraid of being misconceived or misunderstood by saying no?

  5. Do I want to? How is my body reacting when I imagine committing to this?

How to say no.

Create boundaries. Work on creating your boundaries by noticing when you’re about to put someone else’s needs in front of you own, and try acknowledging when you don’t want to do something. This awareness is important when creating your boundaries. Once we know where our boundaries are, we can better identify when or when not to commit to something.

Don’t explain too much. They only need to know if you can or cannot do something so it’s okay to keep your response short and simple. Instead of going through a list of reasons why you can’t help right now, focus on being clear and direct while leaving no room for the possibility that you might do that thing later on.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry, I’m pretty busy today so I won’t be able to go.


  • Thanks for thinking of me but I won’t be able to go.

Avoid apologizing. Ah, overapologizing. If you feel the need to apologize ask yourself, are you doing anything harmful? Are you genuinely sorry? Instead of saying sorry, try saying thank you. Focus on the person doing something nice, not you doing something wrong.

Here’s the thing. Setting and honoring our boundaries is hard work! We don’t want to hurt our friend’s feelings, let our boss down or appear as unproductive. It’s important though, that we commit to creating a pattern of unapologetically taking up space (even if that space is at home in bed.) We deserve to feel good, to feel rested, to feel happy.

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