Do you know the most powerful word you can use? It is likely one of your first pronounced words as a toddler. No. No. No.That’s right. It’s NO.In today’s society, many adults face decisions about taking on certain obligations and responsibilities which come in and out almost daily. However, the perception of what is yours is all relative to the individual.
Noun: the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone; the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization; the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
Noun: an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment; the condition of being morally or legally bound to do something; a debt of gratitude for a service or favor.
Responsibility says, “ this is mine to take care of.”Obligation says, “I think this is mine to take care of.”*Oxford Dictionary
Sometimes you take on things that aren’t meant to be yours. For example: cooking for a work potluck, picking up your friend’s kids from school and dropping them off, committing to too many work projects rather than delegating them to the team. There are a million scenarios that exemplify the things you may take on out of obligation that were not intended for you to begin with.
The good news? There's a simple solution: Say NO.
I’m not saying that you need to walk around saying “no” to everyone and everything. What I am saying, is that saying this simple little word can be healthy. In fact, saying it is necessary. “No” says, “here is my line of enough,” and “this over here is mine; that over there is yours." The word can establish healthy boundaries and prevent you from taking on more than you are capable of handling.But saying “no” to someone you admire, love or wish to please can be really hard. In fact, it can create guilt, shame and place a strain on very important relationships. That is perfectly normal though, and it can be dealt with. What can’t be dealt with is over-commitment, burnout and overextending yourself.
Get started by answering these two simple questions.What would happen if you said YES to every thing everyone asked of you?What could happen if you knew the boundary that you simply couldn’t cross?
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHWC, CPT, CMS
Health Advisor | Email Casey