Learning “NO”

I am struggling today with a commitment that I made.  I committed to something several months ago that I was hesitant about to begin with.  I was asked to take on a leadership role for something, and I initially said no.  However, I was strongly persuaded into eventually saying yes even though I still had my doubts about it.  Now several months in and it has become something I really do not want to be a part of just as I had feared it would.  First of all, I really don’t have the time to commit to the role as is needed.  I have had to miss important events and meetings, which I am very uncomfortable about.  Plus, I just don’t feel like I can devote the time needed to complete many of the tasks.   I can’t give it 100%, which we all know is super uncharacteristic of me.  I am typically an all or nothing kind of person.  Doing something halfway just isn’t in my nature.  It really bothers me that I feel like I am not doing the job well, but I just don’t have the time to give it my all.  The second reason I do not want this role is that there is some drama attached to it.  I don’t do drama, and I want no part in it.  It makes me super anxious, and I just don’t want my name associated with it.  Then, finally, the third reason I want out of this role is that there are a lot of politics involved.  The politics of it kind of goes hand in hand with the drama.  There are people trying to insert their power and others trying to take control.  People are butting heads and getting angry, and I am trying my best to stay out of it.  I feel like some people are being combative just to be combative.  It is just a very uncomfortable situation.   As a result of all this, it has become a real dilemma for me.  I don’t want this job at all, and I don’t know how to get out of it.  I am not a quitter.  I committed to it, even under pressure, and I feel like I have to see it through.  However, I am having a real mental struggle with it. I want out so bad, but I don’t want to cause more drama by stepping down, and I certainly don’t want to be viewed badly for not fulfilling my commitment. I honestly don’t know what to do about it.  It is causing a lot of worry and anxiety for me.  

I feel like I am stuck and there is nothing I can do about it.  This is what happens to me when I cannot say no. It is a huge flaw that I have.  I let people talk me into things that I don’t want to do because I have a hard time telling them no.  I don’t want to let people down, and I definitely don’t want them to think less of me. Then I get stuck in a situation like this that I can’t get out of, and it is making me miserable.  I wish that I could stand up for myself and say no. I knew that this wasn’t going to turn out well, yet I still agreed to do it.  I had the courage to say no initially but then I let others talk me out of that no.  Why couldn’t I have just stuck to my guns? Why did I let them talk me into it? Do other people’s opinions of me really affect me that much? The answer to that one is yes. I am coming to understand that the biggest reason that I can’t say no is because I care about what others will think about me. I let their opinion of me rule my choices.  It’s sad, but I do constantly think about what others think. Rachel Hollis says, “Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business.”   I wish that I could take that to heart, but I struggle with it a lot.  I cannot say no because of fear of what they will think of me when I do. I worry about it way too much.

Rachel Hollis-Girl, Stop Apologizing

I also lack courage. I wish that I had the courage to get out now. I wish I had the courage to stand up for myself.  I am like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz searching for courage except there is no yellow brick road or wizard to give me some.  I have to find it on my own.  I want more than anything just say that I am done and step down from this position and that be the end of it. Again I worry, though. I worry about what others will think if I step down.  I worry that they won’t be able to find someone else to fill the position, and I know that there will be pressure for me to stay on.  I know people will do all they can to talk me into staying on, and because I don’t have the courage to say no, I will continue to do it and be miserable.  I feel like there is just no way for me to win in this situation.  I just don’t have enough courage to get out.

Being able to say no and having courage to stand up for myself are things that I am working on. I am trying to learn to make myself a priority and not overcommit myself, but it is so hard.  I really have to learn to not care so much about what other people think of me because I need to take care of myself and my own mental health.  Their opinions of me really don’t matter. Somehow, I have to burn that into my brain. Being in this situation is not fun and I really hate that I am stuck here.  I need to take my word for this year, RELENTLESS, and apply it towards this situation.  I need to be relentless in saying no.  I need to have relentless courage.  I guess I will keep working on it until it finally sinks in.   That’s what relentless means after all, right?


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