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- “The challenge is, the more you allow everyone to encroach on your day, or what you desire of life, or what your plan or purpose is, the more you’re likely to do it again the next day, the next day, and the next day.”
- If you’re a people pleaser who struggles with saying “no” to others, then this episode is for you! Here are two tips on how to start enforcing your boundaries.
- “Saying “no” and setting boundaries is the most positive thing you could start doing for your sanity ever, period.”
- Learn why saying “no” can help enforce boundaries, put you on the right path, and remove a little chaos from your life.
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
One of my favorite discussion points is talking with people about whether or not they’re setting boundaries in their life, and whether or not they’re over committing themselves. And I’ll bet if you think about the times where you’ve been craziest in your life and meanest to people or upset about things is because, basically you failed to protect your territory. You got in a place where you felt like you had to say “yes” to everybody. I don’t know if you’ve ever been a people pleaser. I was a people pleaser early in my career. People would ask me for things, “Brendon, I like your book. Could you write an article for this thing? And this thing and this thing, and this blog and this blog and this blog? Could I interview for this?”
Yeah, yeah, yeah, and everything’s “yes, yes, yes.” And then, suddenly I felt one day off path.
I was saying “yes” to everybody’s requests, but I wasn’t saying yes to what I felt my real purpose was.
And I know that sometimes it’s easy to get pulled away from what we really want to focus on because we have family, we have friends, we’ve got business, we’ve got a lifestyle to maintain.
But the challenge is, the more you allow everyone to encroach on your day, or what you desire of life, or what your plan or your purpose is, the more you’re likely to do it again the next day, the next day, and the next day.
Because we often get in the habit of giving ourselves over to people. And at some point, we feel like we lost ourselves. And so if you’ve ever been in that place before, this is a good time to say, “Gosh, if I want more sanity in my life, I’m going to have to start to say ‘no.’”
And saying “no” is not a negative thing.
Because right now, if that’s been your association you think, “Oh, if I say “no,” people get mad at me, people feel disappointed, they reject me.” And whatever has happened for you that you’ve built up saying “no” as a negative thing, I’m here to help reframe it.
Saying “no” and setting boundaries is the most positive thing you could start doing for your sanity ever, period.
Because guess what, if you protect your sanity, you protect your day, you protect your life, you protect your purpose, then when you deal with people, you’re not angry at them. I mean, think about it, is there are some people that when they come around you you’re just like, you get upset about ’cause you know they’re going to ask you for something and you know you’re going to say “yes,” even though you want to tear your hair out? Well, that’s not their fault, they’re conditioned to ask you and you said “yes” so many times, and they just keep taking and taking. And now you probably have some bitterness or anger towards that person. And the only way to get back to release that anger, to release that bitterness, is to get your day back, to get your plan back, to get your desires back.
I’m not pretending it’s easy. I mean, we all struggle with balance. But the struggle that we have, that saying “no” is negative has to be reframed.
And here’s the thing, if you can learn to say “no” more often to the wrong things, you’ll start feeling better about life, and you’ll start pursuing the right things.
Because a lot of people say, “My life feels so derailed, I don’t feel like I have anything I want.” I often say, “Do you feel like you’re a giving person?” And so, “Yeah, I’m a very giving person.” I say, “Do you feel like you’ve given over your life’s agenda to other people?” You know, you wake up, you check your inbox, and you reply to everybody else, but you never do your work. Or, you know, the kids need all these things, and you do all those things, but you forgot that one thing you wanted to do for yourself that day. And you didn’t have time for it but you just forgot, because you’re so used to serving.
Well, it’s time to set some boundaries. And it’s vital that you do that for your own sanity, but also for your energy in those relationships. Because what I want for you—I want you to feel—when you see somebody—engaged, excited and relaxed about seeing them, not bitter or upset. So here’s how you do it.
1. Start Saying “No”
Setting boundaries. First thing, this will be so hard for you. You’re just going to start to say, “no”. It’s the hardest thing ever. And here’s why I tell people that, just say “no,” automatically do almost anything that comes to you. You don’t actually have to say no to the person or actually reply no. Just in your mind, when something comes in like that, just go, “Nope”.
And then justify, why would you say “no”? Come up with a reason. Well, I would say “no,” because I have these other things that I want to focus on. If your first answer is no, your logic kicks in, you start building some reasoning about why it makes sense that that should be no, and you should be allowed to do what you do. It’s super hard, I know. But if you make that first move, it’s a no.
2. Persuade Yourself into a “Yes”
Now let me think about why it’s a no, and then convince yourself that from now on, you have to persuade yourself into a yes, not them you.
So if it’s a no first, now you have to change your mind. And as you know, changing your mind sometimes is hard. So if your first frame is it’s a no, and then you have to explain to yourself why to be a yes, you start to get an incredible amount of clarity about what is right for you and what is wrong with you. And then from there, it’s straight up courage and bravery in protecting your day and your dream and your purpose and your mission and your family and your free time. It’s just the bravery of now saying to someone, “You know what, I’m sorry, I have to pass on that, because I know you’re just coming to me with this now, but I’ve actually had other plans that have been laid down long ago, and if I don’t follow those, then it’s being disrespectful to other people. So I know it feels bad that I have to say ‘no’ to you now, but otherwise, I’m cutting you in front of other people who are just like you. I love them too, and I can’t do that to them. So I have to stick to this and I apologize, but I have to say ‘no.’” That’s it.
Now, the challenge in all of that, is you’re going to get powders, you’re going to get complainers, you’re going to get people who keep pushing and pushing and pushing. And now, it’s just a question of your character. How much at this point in your life are you going to stick to what you know to be right for yourself? Because sometimes we go through a couple years, a couple of decades where we know it’s right for ourselves, but we’re giving, so we give ourselves over to other people, and we end up in a life that doesn’t feel right. And I would just say, if you struggle with saying “no” for so long, please give yourself that gift. Today is the day you’re going to be comfortable saying “no.”