Saying no may feel uncomfortable for you. Agreeing to everything that’s asked of you causes burnout, resentment and cynical thoughts. Saying yes when you really mean no affects your integrity.  Setting boundaries says I love me.

The boundaries you set, whether in your accounting firm or your personal life, boost your confidence. Clear boundaries send the message that you are worthy and your time is valuable.

Imagine setting clear boundaries. You’re honest about what things you’re willing to do. Instead of giving away your power, you now consider your needs when making a decision.

Saying "yes" when you mean "no" causes burnout.

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Your actions tell the real story

Stating your needs can be uncomfortable. People who’ve known you may not take you seriously at first. They aren’t used to you setting limits. Because old habits are difficult to break, expect them to dismiss your new boundaries.

Testing you, even challenging you when you say no, is their way of figuring out whether you really mean what you say. What you say and what you do may be two different things. If so, then your actions ultimately reveal the truth.

Align your words and actions for your boundaries to be taken seriously. Are you prepared to consistently follow through?

Don’t throw in the towel

A new response needs time to fully adopt. So, if you cave in to pressure and loosen up a boundary don’t be too harsh on yourself. This doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Instead of quitting, learn from the experience.

Setting boundaries is a process. Similar to any new activity, you improve with practice.

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Give yourself a pat on the back for taking care of yourself. At first, some guilt may flare up. It is absolutely okay for you to do things for yourself – without guilt. Self care has a hidden benefit. When you decide to do something, you’ll really mean it.

Distance yourself from the drama

Getting involved in people’s drama is a distraction. It’s possible to support the people you care about, but rescuing someone from their problems never works out well.

Freedom comes with setting boundaries. You’ve spent countless hours and tons of energy helping others. Among the people you’ve helped, note who consistently supports you or truly appreciates your efforts. Avoid falling into the blaming trap for those who take you for granted.

Only two things you control

Instead of giving your power away, focus on your actions and your choices. Those are the only two things you possess any real control over.

As your confidence grows, decide to stop associating with people who do not respect you and whom are not supportive of you.

The activities you do, and those you don’t do, are your choice. Accept responsibility for your decisions. A choice exists in each and every situation. Moments will arise when you face a difficult decision, you won’t know how to decide.

Facing difficult decisions

Author, Suzy Welch, developed the 10-10-10 method for difficult decisions.  Ask yourself three questions:

  1. What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes?
  2. In 10 months?
  3. And in 10 years?

Answering these questions to make the best decision possible. Practice exploring choices from various perspectives. You’ll realize which choices are aligned with your priorities and which cause you to stray from them.

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The choice is yours

If you’re tired of putting your needs on a backburner, change is possible. The choice is yours. Your needs do matter. Caring for others at the expense of self care leads to burnout.

If you’re trapped by obligations which no longer suit you, then the time has come to alter your response. Don’t immediately say yes when asked to do something.

You make better decisions when you’re not under pressure. Pressure causes you to react instead of consciously choose.  The optimal choice aligns with the things you truly care about.

Saying no means you’re saying yes to you. Setting boundaries says I love me.

Listening to your needs increases your self-worth. It’s time you put yourself in charge of your destiny. Where have you previously said yes although you really wanted to say no? Consider the decisions you’ve postponed. What boundary are you ready to set right now?

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