It’s rewarding to help and care for others – whether it’s someone in your family or a colleague needing a hand. While it’s important to lead our lives with generosity and kindness, sometimes we lack to show the same care for ourselves.
As I thought about my own assessment, I’m someone who has a hard time saying no. Whatever the situation, I always wanted to be the one people could rely on to remove roadblocks, overcome barriers, break through that glass ceiling, pave the way – you get my drift.
Learning more about this struggle I have with saying yes, I realized one way to take care of myself was by saying no. Say it with me! No. Doesn’t that feel amazing?
This made me think others have that same issue. According to Psychology Today, two in three Americans forget to focus on themselves. Yep, that can be me, too! While being a people pleaser at the office will show everyone you’re a “team player,” it can potentially lead you down a winding road of self destruction. Here are some valuable lessons I have come to learn.
Saying “yes” all the time sets you up for a lack of boundaries.
When you’re constantly saying yes, people will stop asking you to do things and start expecting you to do them. It doesn’t mean we never say “yes,” but when someone asks you for help, it’s not rude to assess what’s going on with your own priorities first. Naturally, we all want to be that team player and help a colleague achieve a goal that contributes to the success of the organization. Just make sure you’re not putting someone else’s priorities above your own. Stop and assess before saying “yes.”
You’ll most likely end up doing someone else’s job.
If you’ve been in the workforce for at least a year or two, there is no doubt you’ve witnessed or been a part of this scenario. There are plenty of colleagues who feed off a good, team collaboration. Putting your time and energy on a colleague’s project can be a nice break and give you new energy for your own deliverables. But, we’ve also seen those who continually ask for help because they can’t do their job. By the time they’ve asked you for the fifth time to lend a hand on a project, you’re definitely stuck!
You’ll end up overextending yourself.
While you may be able to do the work of three people because you’re superhuman, that doesn’t mean you should or can sustain that workload forever. You’ll end up overextending yourself, your work will bleed into other parts of your life, your social life may become nonexistent, and you’ll resent your job entirely. These are some worst-case scenarios, but I’ve seen it happen and experienced it first-hand. So – just don’t do that to yourself! There are plenty of people out there who enjoy the work and still maintain a life balance that renews a sense of self.
It might never end.
As I mentioned earlier, people will stop asking and start expecting. There are countless podcasts and articles out there talking about the need to sit back and reflect. This is that moment in my article. Sit back and take a look at how you operate for yourself and with others. There’s still hope at the end of this winding road, and there’s always a chance to make a U-turn. Set your boundaries now to set yourself up for success.
It’s easier said than done. I know – I’ve been there, and I’m still learning. You have to find the right balance between yes and no just as we do with work and life. It’s all about what makes sense for you. Declining a project, task, or collaboration doesn’t mean you don’t care about the workplace or your colleagues. It helps preserve time to make sure your priorities are at the forefront. Remember, working is a part of our life, not our entire life. Take care of yourself and say it with me. No.