We’ve all been there.
At some point or another, we’ve all spent too much time with people that bring us down or doing something that doesn’t bring us joy.
Sometimes, we can be in such a negative place mentally that we think to ourselves, “This is all I deserve.”
That, my friends, is a place you don’t want to find yourself living in.
How do you pull yourself out of low self-worth? How do you finally let go of the habits and people who bring you down instead of lift you up? How do you use the sacred no, when you’re so used to constantly saying yes to everything and everyone?
The most important person you need to take care of is yourself. Your family and friends are important, absolutely, but if you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to serve others as powerfully as you could.
Your value as a friend increases when you value yourself. If you want to be able to show up for those you love, fully energized and ready to serve, you must recharge your own battery first.
If you’re spending time doing things that produce negative energy, you’re going to carry that energy around throughout your day, inevitably attracting more of it. You’re going to stay in a funk throughout your life if you don’t realize that your life is precious, finite and deserving of love.
So what are you saying yes to that you should start saying no to? Every time you say yes to something that doesn’t deserve your time and attention, you’re saying no to something that does.
Normally, we all have a thing or two (or five, or ten) that we’re doing that we don’t truly love. Maybe it’s a job that you need but doesn’t absolutely enjoy. Maybe it’s a family member who you love, but don’t necessarily like. Maybe it’s a commitment you made to PTA that you dread every single month, but aren’t quite sure how to get out of it.
Here are 5 ways you can finally let go of what is no longer serves you:
1. Acknowledge your self-worth
First, and most important, is to understand why you’re letting go of this energy-drainer. Once you know something, you can never not know it again. So understand the value of your life. Understand that the people you love need you to show up as your most authentic self, and in order to show up in that way, you need to value your life and feed your days with only habits and people that are deserving of your attention. If people don’t respect you, respect yourself enough to get up and leave the situation. Even more important to recognize is that you are your own best friend. Acknowledge the importance of your self-worth for others, but do it for yourself first and foremost. You deserve to always be “on your game” with high vibes and your true tribe. Find those people, and those activities, and love them hard.
2. Begin with saying no to one thing
You have to take action. You can’t just recognize that something isn’t serving you, but never do anything about it. Start to practice using your “selection” muscle by being more selective to what you say yes to. This could be something as small as the magazines you read, the subscriptions you have, the movies you watch or the meals you eat. On the other hand, if you have a glaring energy-drainer begging to be taken off your schedule, start big! Tell the party planning committee that after this term, you’re going to step down and let somebody else take the position. Say no to the event you’ve been invited to on Friday if you’d rather stay in and watch a movie. If you have a group of friends that discourage you every time you spend time with them, start backing away from that social circle.
3. Find the thing (or person) you want to say yes to instead
Now that you’ve been saying no to the things that aren’t serving you anymore, you may want to find some things that you’d like to say yes to. If there’s a particular activity you’ve been dying to try out, schedule some time for it. If there’s a person in your life that brings you joy, but you never get to see them, plan a date with them and mark it on your calendar. If you’d rather just say “yes” to pajamas, a glass of wine, and your significant other on the couch, then do that. Whatever it is you believe you need more of in your life, you now have time for it (viola!) so listen to your intuition and enjoy that thing.
4. Stay consistent
At first, it may feel funky to say no to opportunities that pop up. Have you heard of the phrase, Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)? It’s a legit thing, and many people suffer from it. I used to say yes to everything when it came to my business because I worried that if I didn’t say yes to every networking event, podcast interview, or online summit, I would be missing out on an opportunity to grow my business. Truthfully, the more I said yes to the things that didn’t really fill me up with good vibes, the less powerful the things that actually would benefit my business were. I was too tired to give them my all. Or I had a bad attitude because of the hour I had to spend talking to somebody that I didn’t vibe well with. It can be easy to let FOMO take over, but stay strong and I promise you will feel so much more aligned with yourself.
5. Uncover your limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are beliefs you most likely formed as a child from your parents or society, and they have been holding you back your entire life. Beliefs like, “I am a not beautiful, so I have to be funny to be worthy.” Or “I have to earn my worth through my achievements.” Or, “Being a man means to show little to no emotion, always be strong, and focus all of my energy on making more money. Oh, and have big, bulging muscles.” Limiting beliefs are what often hold us back from our true purpose and they are also the things that keep us engaging in activities that don’t serve us anymore. Many of us think that we have to have a particular job because that’s all we “deserve” or it’s what we’re “expected” to do. Limiting beliefs will convince you to believe lies about yourself…but they take consciousness to break. What limiting belief has been holding you back? Become aware of that, and you can change your life.
Learning to let go of the things that do not serve you will allow your life to excel and open up to the things that will. Take it slow, and uncover just one thing that you want to begin saying no to. Is it a belief? A person? A commitment? A job? Give yourself the gift of “no” and watch how your life will finally begin to attract the energy it is that you truly deserve.
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This post was originally written for and published in Paleo Magazine.