I would like you to take a few minutes to study the graphic above. Note the pretty colors and the easy to understand layout. No they aren’t jelly beans! Go eat some lunch!
What stands out to you? Ah, yes, the bright yellow in the first one is hurting your eyes isn’t it? It takes up lots of space and is mesmerizing and entrances you to focus on it. Therein lay the problem with most of us today. We are focused on the big, yellow blob.
You also see how teeny tiny the other three colored circles are in comparison. Unfortunately this is the wrong orientation.
Now turn your attention to the graphic on the right. Ah, much easier to stare at, no huge yellow blob burning your eyes, in fact it is so small it almost blends into the background.
What Does This Mean?
The yellow blob is two things: the things we cannot control (drama you soak up) and the things that take you away from being productive (the inability to say “no”) See how much of the thought processing power it takes up in your brain? Understand you only have so big of a brain. It isn’t like you can expand, add a room, knock out a wall and put in new fixtures. The space you have is the space you have so you have to arrange your rooms and chose your furnishings according to what you want, what you desire, what you want the end result to be or rather who you want to become.
So why, if this analogy is to be believed, would you fill up more than 3/4ths of your brain with shit that means absolutely NOTHING to you or where you are going? Exactly!
That yellow blob is drama-other peoples’ stuff that bombards you and if you aren’t careful, you let in. Then it starts to get cozy, settles in, makes a meal, grabs a beer and puts its feet up. It’s like a Squatter who moves in, takes over and is hella hard to kick out.
Once you let drama in it takes over so much of your mind-your thoughts and consequential actions-that before you know it you are soaked in other people’s shit, dripping from head to toe. You are acting as a go between people, loaning money, running out to get groceries, babysitting someone else’s kids, or getting that call in the middle of the night to come get them from a bar or rescue them from a bad situation or bailing them out of jail. Phewww! So much effort for other people leaving you little of your precious time to do what is important to you!
If you want more space in your brain for what you want in there, to deal with your own crap, to follow through with the goals and dreams you have, to have the time to take care of your kids and their activities and needs, have time for a social life with either a significant other or friends, to have relaxation time to read your favorite book or take a candlelight bath or have more money that you earned in YOUR pocket, it’s time to shrink your yellow blob.
Shrinking your yellow blob is easy and takes just two steps.
- Put blinders on your eyes and ear plugs in your ears. If you do see or overhear something you would normally respond to either out of curiosity or concern, pretend you didn’t. Let it go. Play stupid, leave the room. Now I know for some of you the habit to stop what you are doing and tune your radar into what is going on around you is deeply ingrained. Your ears perk up and your head swivels to the source. You get a tingling in your body, a spidey sense. Well I want you to use that spidey sense to your advantage. When you feel it and are just about to turn toward the juicy stuff just waiting to be spilled/seen I want you to turn in the complete opposite direction and use those things you walk on to leave the room, get out of earshot.
- The other thing you will need to do is use the word “NO”. No is just another word like fuck, dick, dinner, cat or vacation. Use it as such. Stop putting so much emotion into the word! Smile and say NO when someone wants:
- You to do something for them that is not your job description
- You to sign up to volunteer for something that holds no interest to you or your beliefs.
- To borrow money
- To watch their kids “just for an hour”
- Buy something you will never use and don’t want
- Help with a fundraiser you don’t believe in either the cause or the product
- You to host a candle, lingerie etc. party unless you have an interest
- You to fix their car because they don’t have money to pay someone else
- To stay with you for “a couple of days”
I’m sure you can add a few more to the list. The idea is this: This is YOUR life and you have the right to be selfish with your time without having to explain yourself. It is hard the first five to ten times you say no. You will second guess yourself, feel you need to give an explanation or feel bad that you didn’t do what they wanted.
You NEVER have to justify your answer to ANYONE! And I promise you will feel lighter, freer and in control which, if you have never felt in control of your life, will be addictive!
What do you want? When you say no you are saying you and your family, your time, your happiness are worth more than theirs and that is ok. If you want to do what someone asks of you by all means do it! But if you DON’T want to do what someone is asking you to do then DON’T!
Learning to say no is one of the main steps you MUST take to change your life and reach goals. You cannot get to where you want to be if you are always doing things for others which take time away from what is important to you.