Thursday, September 6, 2012

I can't do that

This post almost didn't get written. I almost wussed out.

It was a long day at work. When I walked in the door, I could feel the tension in my body and knew it would be evident in my voice if I spoke.

By the time I finished getting supper on the table I had reached a breaking point. I recognized that I had met my limit on fulfilling the demands of others. I felt tears of frustration near the surface and had given myself permission to let them fall when I went to my bedroom and plopped down on my bed.

I must have decided I didn't need to let them go, though. The urge scattered beneath the spinning blades of my ceiling fan.  

Thank goodness I walked away before it was too late.
I've found the first step toward making the right choices in life is to quit ignoring my own limitations.

I think, too often  -- women especially -- tend to ignore their own limitations because "our families need us."

But do you really think you're doing your family a favor by losing touch with yourself? I don't think so.

Pay attention to the way your body reacts in different situations. Doing so allows you to become familiar with your own symptoms and your own breaking points.

That familiarity also allows you to take the next step, which is to become an advocate for yourself. Don't be afraid to tell people, "No. I can't do this right now. I can't do this tonight. I can't do this ever." The best -- and most honest -- excuse you can give for denying a request is (and this is magic): "I have so many other obligations right now, I wouldn't be able to give [insert request here] the time it deserves to be done well."

And step three: Whether you're planning to succeed or planning to fail, always plan ahead. Something as simple as a to-do list often can help alleviate anxiety because you can see when you're reaching your limits and need to start saying no.

On Monday, there will be a short and sweet post about our five senses.

In the meantime, tell me about your limitations. Do you allow yourself to give up when you become overwhelmed? Tweet at me. Email me. Leave a comment below.

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