Category Archives: Self-Care

The Art of Saying No

My toddler is going through that stage where “no” is the response to everything. Even if I know she wants something, or to do something, she always gives me an enthusiastic “no!” There are times where after I ask her again does she suddenly want exactly what is being offered. I figure it comes with the territory of being a toddler. Too many emotions and thoughts swimming around, so having a do-over on a decision is a perfect opportunity for them.

While I find myself getting more and more annoyed at being told “no” all the time, I am also finding a lesson in it. I often say “yes” to things out of the feeling of obligation, when in reality I just want to say “no, thanks.” This type of situation, where I agree to something when I don’t really want to, just breeds angst and unhappiness.

Not so surprising confession: I am a people-pleaser.

Well, I was.

My days of acquiescing to the wants and desires of those around me are over. Instead of being worried that someone will be upset with me if I don’t go along with their plans, I worry more about the toll it will take on me if I keep saying “yes.” It’s called setting boundaries.

Have I started to be like my toddler, and enthusiastically say “no” to every request? Of course not.

But what I have done is determined if whatever I am presented with is truly something I want, or want to do. If it isn’t, I decline. If it is, I eagerly join in.

Obviously, it isn’t all black and white. I don’t say, “see ya later, suckers!” to less than desirable situations right out of the gate. I also don’t recognize that I’m not feeling it, and then stick around for hours.

For me, the art of saying “no” comes down to a few things:

  • Listening to your gut: there is a stark difference between putting yourself out there and experiencing new things, and doing something you absolutely don’t want to do. Being able to identify the difference when you’re offered an adventure is paramount to keeping true to yourself.
  • Being polite: No one plans to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, but the way you decline has a direct impact on how your message is received. Some people will worry that your desire not to join them is a reflection of how you feel about the person who invited you. When you pass on an offer, be honest about why you aren’t joining them. It is acceptable to admit when you’re too tired, need a break from other people, or just want to be alone. You don’t need to make up an excuse in an effort to avoid hurt feelings. The truth works just fine.
  • Returning the favor: Every single one of us has been faced with a situation where we just weren’t interested in doing something with other people. I’m the world’s biggest extrovert, and even I need a pass every once in a while. That being said, when it comes time for someone to decline your invitation, graciously accept. You’ve been there, so you understand.

I’d like to say that each person you talk to will understand, but that is totally not the case. You will encounter those that understand, but you will also find those that try to make you feel guilty, or make you feel like you are somehow hurting them. They just don’t know how to handle someone putting up boundaries. But, the more you persist, the more they will learn. You may even be an example to others that need to learn to put out boundaries too!

So, the next time you’re given the opportunity to do something you’re on the fence about, what are you going to do?

Guest Post – Igniting the Positive with Stacey Bice

I’ve been lucky to be friends with Stacey for many years, and if there was one word I could use to describe her it would be “positive.” Regardless of the circumstance, she finds the silver lining, making everyone smile and feel better along the way. She is also incredibly funny, and on more than one occasion her humor has caught me off guard and kept me laughing for hours.

Each Monday Stacey posts a “Magnificent Monday Message” on Facebook, and I think her message is a perfect fit for my favorite topic of self-care. So, I reached out and asked Stacey if she wanted to contribute to The Audacious B, giving us her top recommendations on how to tap into positive thinking.

Take it away, Stac!

We all have moments of negative thinking and self talk. Here are a few ways we can be more positive in our thinking.

  • Only use positive words when talking – when you speak with others, only use positive words. Omit negative words, such as “don’t”, “can’t”, “not”, “won’t”, and “no.” Just take one day and jot down a mark every time you find yourself saying something negative. Count the marks at the end of the day and the next day try to have at least that many positives.
  • Fill your mind with positive thoughts – Constantly look for things to be positive about. Find things you like about yourself, other people, and your life. The more you focus on the positive, the easier it will be to think positive thoughts. At night, just as I am falling asleep I tell my husband 3 things that I felt were positive in my day.
  • Celebrate – Share your successes with others. Celebrate everything that happens in your life. No matter how big or small it is, celebrate it. Remember to also celebrate the successes of others too.  Remember to celebrate it not to boost about it.
  • Smile – There are days when smiling is the farthest thought from your mind, but just the simple act of smiling puts you into a more positive mind set. Smile whenever you see yourself in the mirror. Smile when you see others. Smile for no reason at all.
  • Make peace with the past – Do you think about moments in your past where you felt embarrassed, scared or angry? Do you relive events wishing you could have done things differently? Your emotions are connected to your thoughts. If you change your thoughts, your emotions with change. Let go of the past. We can’t do anything to change it. But we can take charge of our present and our future because that is where our power lies.
  • Gratitude – Be grateful for your life. Keep an eye out for thing to be grateful for – a sunset, a smile from a stranger, a good commute…Before long, those little things will become bigger things. When we show gratitude, it opens us up to receiving more great things in our lives.

“Positive thinking evokes… more energy, more initiative, more HAPPINESS!”

Many Blessings,

Stacey M. Bice

Certified “Positive” Life Coach

If you’re  in the market for a life coach, I recommend getting in touch with Stacey. You can reach her directly at 435*830*7282, or via her website, www.ignitethepositive.com .

Cutting the Tie That Binds

You and me? We’re done. Maybe…

Years ago, I worked for a commercial real estate company. This was my first “big kid” job beyond the years I spent in retail. The office was located downtown, and was filled with people vastly different from one another, and from me. I knew this was going to be quite the experience and I couldn’t wait.

One day I heard a peer call a friend and tell this person she was ending the friendship. End of story.

Yep, you read that right: called a friend and told her/him that she was ending the friendship because they never saw each other anymore, and if this person wanted to be friends, they would have made more of an effort to hang out.

*insert wide eyes here, and me looking around to see if I’m the only one hearing what I think I’m hearing*

I’ve seen friendships disintegrate over time and in an instant (often due to really bizarre circumstances).

I’ve seen people drift apart due to lifestyle differences and geographical distances.

Up until that point (and since then), I had never seen (or heard) someone deliberately cut someone from their life over something so inconsequential.

To say I was floored doesn’t even come close to what I was thinking. First off, I thought this girl was bat-shit crazy. Who calls someone out of the blue and ends a friendship over something as trivial as not hanging out? Secondly, I wondered if the person on the other end of the line was thinking, “Hallelujah!”

In retrospect, I still think the girl was crazy. The situation, however, has completely different meaning for me.

I understand now, as I did then, that life gets in the way, so to assume you’ll have the same friends forever, or that you’ll see one another every weekend is impractical. As we grow as individuals, our friendships grow as well. We attract new people to our lives, and we become enriched because of it.

I’ve found as an adult, that your friends become the family you choose. Like a carefully curated collection of people that make you laugh, support you in trying times, and celebrate the wins; just as you’d do for them and with them.

But what about when we have attracted someone that doesn’t enrich us so much as they suck all the energy out of us? Perhaps this is a moment when we take a cue from the crazy girl and cut someone out of our life. We make the decision that we want more for ourselves, and our well-being, and we exclude those that don’t fit within that parameter.

I’d much prefer that friendships just take their course, and follow the ebb and flow of life. However, this could be the part of adulthood that isn’t much fun. Where, to get to the sunshine and butterflies, you need to take care of the dark clouds that hang around. Perhaps in our quest for self-care and living our best life, this is just something that needs to be done.

As hard as making such deliberate changes is, I can tell you with absolute certainty it is worth it. Eventually, once you’ve surrounded yourself with the right people, and put yourself in the right situations, your best self does shine thought. And who wouldn’t love that?!

Fun Fact #510: My Dentist is Better Than Yours

We all know I’m a huge fan of self-care (it does have its own category on the blog). What most people don’t know, is that self-care is more than just spa treatments and meditation. It’s also taking care of your basic needs and taking care of your body. This means seeing the doctor when you’re sick, and seeing your dentist twice a year. For me this was a no-brainer, but I understand that for some it isn’t that easy.

I had a rough experience with a dentist when I was a kid (I was given WAY too much gas), and I’m thankful that it didn’t ruin me from ever going to the dentist again. If anything, it made me significantly pickier when choosing who I would see as an adult. My husband and I were seeing a dentist in the town we live in, and I found us a new office to visit simply because I didn’t like the way the other dentist ran his front office. I’m that picky. So, what makes this new office so awesome?

  1. My dentist has a sense of humor. I’ve been known to break a tooth (or two) on popcorn kernels and Corn Nuts. My dentist not only names my broken teeth (Wu Tang Clan was the last one I broke), but he also has also offered to make my crowns gold with diamonds. If you can make me laugh while holding a large syringe with numbing solution, I’m all about it.
  2. My dentist is compassionate. We joke with my dentist that my husband’s teeth are what is paying for his new office furniture. He’s had more crowns than anyone I know, and when the dentist has had to put my husband through the wringer in an effort to get the dental work done, he always checks in. He understands the amount of pain he put my husband through, and he wants to make sure there weren’t any complications after he left the office.
  3. My dentist is willing to redo work he isn’t happy with. Regardless of the profession, admitting you’re not happy with the work you’ve done isn’t the easiest. My dentist is able to admit he isn’t a fan, and he redoes it. This makes me respect him as a dentist that much more, simply because I know he wants to make things right no matter what.
  4. The office feels like family. Going to the dentist isn’t really high on anyone’s list of things they like to do, but I honestly look forward to the cleanings (and even the emergency work). The staff works to put their clients at ease, and does a really good job of it. Plus, their front office runs like a charm, so I can’t complain there at all.
  5. My dentist has noticed when I’ve dyed hair. Yeah, it caught me off guard, but as it was explained to me by his staff, “He works with women all day. We’ve trained him well.”

So, why did I list all the ways my dentist is awesome (this totally reads like an ad for his office, doesn’t it)? Well, first off, it’s because it’s true. More importantly though, I wanted to illustrate that you too can find an office that can make it that much easier for you to tend to the most basic of self-care needs. Yes, there are dentists out there that fill the stereotype of the reasons why everyone avoids the dentist. But there are diamonds out there, and if you’re lucky, they’ll offer to put the diamonds in your teeth too.