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Day 15: Saying NO

DAY 15:  SAYING NO

Self-esteem and healthy boundaries complement each other, but if your image of self is lower than you’d ideally want, maintaining a healthy border between your own time, energy, and worth might be a hard thing to manage.

I have found that women with body-image struggles also feel powerless in other life situations, that is, constantly saying yes to things despite not agreeing or wanting to do it. This can take the shape in two ways: agreeing with self-doubt that keeps you in fear, keeps you small, or keeps you saying yes to a person or situation you really don’t want to.

Saying yes in these cases doesn’t come from a place of genuine desire, but of fear of what happens if you don’t live up to an expectation, of feeling guilty if you don’t “pull through,” that you’ll disappoint, or in return, someone might judge and find offensive your unwillingness to go along. It also can mean not standing up for what is true about yourself and letting others' opinions/judgments speak louder than your own. It’s a very painful and belittling experience to not feel like your boundaries are being respected. 

ASSERT YOUR BOUNDARIES BY SAYING NO TO SOMETHING OR SOMEONE. THIS CAN BE YOUR OWN FAT-TALK VOICE THAT YOU NAMED OR A REAL PERSON/SITUATION IN YOUR LIFE. 

Setting healthy boundaries is one of those connections to body image and self-worth that isn’t so obvious on first look. By beginning to set boundaries for yourself, you take back power in regards to how you want to use your time and energy. In setting boundaries and saying no, you project respect and assertiveness; you project that you have a strong mind and spirit to know what is authentic action you believe is right for you to take.

Since saying no probably isn’t an automatic reflex, ask yourself these questions to help you decide how to respond:

  1. Is what is being said/asked something I agree with? If no, I give myself permission to state how I feel and why.
  2. Does what I’m being asked hinder my time/energy? If yes, then I give myself permission to respect my time and energy.
  3. Am I afraid of disappointing someone by saying no? If yes, I give myself permission to stand by what I truly need and honor what the other people might feel by my decision.

Setting healthy boundaries is a life-long practice, but an important one. Because the more you say no to things that just don’t serve you, the more opportunities for quality yes! in your life arises.