Here are some questions that might explain why you are feeling overwhelmed. Answer the following questions with a yes or no:
1. Do you put too much on your plate and feel like you are doing everything for everyone all the time?
2. Do you feel like you have to do everything or it won’t get done the right way?
3. Do you say “yes” when you are asked to do something at work, church, for family/friends, etc. because you would feel bad saying no?
4. Do you say “yes”even when you don’t really want to do something, but if you don’t do it, no one will?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these, than I would recommend working on implementing boundaries.
Here is something you can practice doing. It’s one word. Say “No.” Not, “Sorry, no I can’t do that because…” or “I would like to help you out, but…” or “I feel really bad saying no but I have a lot going on right now…” Just say “No.” Period. I love how Dave Ramsey says “No is a complete sentence.” You know your priorities. And it is better to put more energy into a few things that are important to you then putting a little bit of energy into a bunch of different things and resenting it.
When you add on to your “No,” you are making room for guilt. You are an adult; you don’t need to explain why you can’t make it to that birthday party or why you can’t help out at the fundraiser or why you aren’t going to donate money to a certain cause.
Saying “No” without an explanation is empowering in addition to projecting boundaries. Sometimes someone else may have to step up and take over a project/task/chore. But, as long as you are always saying “yes” to everyone you are enabling not empowering. It might not get done exactly the way that you would have done it, but as long as it’s not life threatening, it will be okay. And, sometimes no one steps up to get the job done. But, life goes on anyway. Maybe you will come to find out that certain thing wasn’t so important after all. But, I guarantee that once you start saying no, you will stop getting those emergency, last minute calls for help.
The 2 tips to feel less overwhelmed: 1-say no without feeling guilty and 2-say no without explaining yourself.
Plus, check out my discussion with Nancy Hornback on putting too much on your plate. Let me know in the comments what you do to feel less overwhelmed and if you practice saying “No.” this week!