If you are a giver or thrive on the sense of accomplishment, often you may find you have developed such a willingness to help that you begin to overextend yourself. It can be difficult to know when you may be giving too much versus providing outstanding service to others based on how good it makes you feel. If you often find yourself burnt out and blame it on your job, ask “is it really the job? Or is it me trying to be a superhero?”
It can become detrimental to your own well being if you have trouble saying no even when you are already overwhelmed. If you have a hard time saying no for fear of letting others down, remember your worth! Practice using this phrase for the next time you have larger priorities and want to say no but feel obligated to say yes:
“I would love to be able to help you with …, however, given my current demands, I won’t be able to give your request the attention it deserves.”
If said sincerely the person making the request will understand. Know it is okay for you to not carry the world on your shoulders. You don’t have to be a martyr to be valued and loved!
Also, learn to delegate. When you have a huge list of tasks, write them down. What can other people help you complete? Then keep in mind they may have a different way of completing the job. Ask yourself, does it really matter how it is done as long as it gets done? For the things where quality work does matter, spend time teaching given you will thank yourself in the long run.
In my own experience, I used to get annoyed when I would rush around the house trying to complete everything. Particularly when folding and putting laundry away. I would belabor over hanging up my teenage daughters’ nice clothes and also nicely fold everything I thought should go into their drawers. Then I would get annoyed when I saw how they would just dump all their folded laundry on their floor and shove it into their drawers or take off the clothes from their hangers and organize it a different way. I kept doing their laundry because I felt needed and good about doing something for them and tried to push my system on them.
It wasn’t until I had shoulder surgery where I was forced to have them do their own laundry. When I recovered, they both admitted that they would prefer to just fold their own anyway because they had their own organization system. It made no sense to force my way of doing it on them. All they needed was to be taught how to work the washer and dryer, learn to sort, add detergents, and now they are self-sufficient. It does not make me a bad Mom. I have taught them how to live when they are on their own. They also have a less stressed Mom! While I still need to work at setting boundaries, I have become aware that I need to caution myself from basing my worth on how much I accomplish.
We will be no good to anyone if we become bitter extending ourselves too far. Imagine how our worth multiplies when we teach others and don’t just do it ourselves.
“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.” -Brene Brown
Recommended Podcast for Working Mom’s: “Heather is in Control” by Heather Cauvin episode 448 “How to Implement a Boundary”
Five part formula for saying “no thank you”:
• Start with a compliment if one fits the situation
• Give the answer
• Say thank you
• Encourage the person
• Change the subject or excuse yourself