I have a long history of people pleasing and saying yes to pretty much anything I’m asked to do. I feel obliged to do it if I know how, and sometimes even if I don’t. It causes so much negative emotion and drains my energy from more important things.
I’m a journalist, and was asked by my son’s soccer team to be responsible for creating a newsletter. I felt obliged to say yes on the spot, this was back in August 2017. I really dont want to do it. I joined scholars in October 2017. If they’d asked me then, I would have said no. I would have said no today. I have enough more important things to prioritise, such as writing my master thesis, having to take two extra classes, working part time, taking care of my kids, and managing my sons soccer team. I still haven’t finished the newsletter. I have started, but not finished. I know how to do it, but I just dont want to. One thing is finishing this first one, but then I have to keep doing them, and I really dont want to.
The club president emailed me yesterday, asking if the newsletter is happening. I feel embarrassed, shameful, incompetent for not having finished it. Also, I wont want to do it any more next month than today. I feel like this is the opportunity to say “no, it’s not happening”. It’s more work than I thought it would be, and I dont have the capacity to do this. I want to prioritise finishing school. That’a what I need to do this semester. But saying no, after I already said yes? That makes me feel like a quitter, failure, shameful, incompetent person. I am so committed to finishing what I start, and to deliver on my promises.
I’m doing a thought download to clear my head before answering the email. This is what I wrote:
Thought: I am going to quit the newsletter
Result: Newsletter not done, I still have the responsibility, but I’m not doing it.
I am so afraid of failing. I thought this would be a much easier task. It’s not that I cant do hard things, I do that all the time. I don’t have room for one more hard time consuming thing, that just isn’t what I want to prioritise.
I am saying no to more things, but how do you say no to something you’ve already said you would do?