Be Ruthless

At times I have been called “ruthless.” I do not want to stop what I am doing, or turn off the road I am on. If I get an idea of something I want to accomplish, I will not give up until I am done, and not just done, but done well. If I get an idea to find something specific for our home, or a gift for someone I will hunt and explore until I find that perfect thing. Maybe the word I should use is “relentless.” As I looked into “ruthless” it gets a bad rap.

“Ruthless: having or showing no pity or compassion for others.”

After reading an article from Fast Company titled: “The Many, Many, Many Things You Should Say ‘No’ to at Work” – under the section: “Be Ruthless” the article states this:

“Quite candidly, I’m really ruthless in terms of doing only those things which are absolutely essential. I’m saying no to a lot, both in work and life. I see a lot of working moms who think they have to be 110% at work, and then volunteer to run the school auction. We’ve become so awful at saying no. I try hard to become incredibly selective about those things I engage with, so I can be really present for the stuff that I’m doing, and be really engaged with my kids in a meaningful way. People are trying to accomplish too much, and they’re killing themselves in the process.”

Most of us are trying to do too much. Most of us are asked to do too much. Most of us take on too much. Time for change? Yes. How can we make that happen? Be ruthless. I am very selective about the food I put into my body. I am selective about the people I spend my time with in life. I am selective about making sure I have time to workout. Why not be even more selective about saying no? As you may know this has been a theme in my blogs of recent weeks and months. My hope is to make gradually become relentlessly ruthless about my time and my engagement with others.

Learning To Say NO

I took a break for the Fourth of July. Slept in, sat out in the wonderfully warm sun (finally), went for a run and chilled with my hubby. Sorry folks, no fireworks shows for me. Just needed a nice quiet day yesterday. So now to the gist of my blog, saying: “NO.”

Are you good at saying “NO” when you need to? I am not. I grew up as a pleaser, and am trying to unlearn these behaviors. I think I now know why I am such a pleaser.

When I was 10 or so, my mom was sick. Life at home was not so fun. My parents fought a lot, eventually ending in my dad leaving, they separated and later divorced. I think I felt there was enough going on at home, that if I caused problems or was dramatic, that I would only make an already crazy and intense environment even worse. So I just tried to be good all the time, and I turned into a pleaser. For the most part I was the good daughter and granddaughter. That trickled into school, eventually to high school, college, and then the business world.

While I believe I found my voice in college, I still find it hard to say “No.” Maybe it is because I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, maybe it is because I try to do everything, and maybe it is because I do not want others to think I am not capable. Whatever the given reason, it is time for me to learn to say “No” without hesitation.

This Daily Om from last week inspired me to think about saying “No.” As mentioned in the article, we often have abilities that have been underused. My “No” mechanism has been underused. I need to say “No” to set better boundaries for myself and not feel guilty about it!

How did you learn to say “No?” Is it easy for you?