Learning to Say No

 Hello my loves! Happy first day of Spring, we made it, we made it!  I've been thinking about the level of happiness that I have been able to achieve within my marriage, work, family and life in general and Ive been trying to break that happiness down into the tangible steps I took to get the life I wanted.  So I thought about it and it started about seven years ago, picture it..an MMA boxing gym in the Bronx (it's a Golden Girl reference in case you missed it, lol..ahh whatevs) ok so I had just ended  an unhealthy relationship that carried on, off and on, for five years when I joined this gym that truly changed my life (its where I met my husband).  I met these two career oriented, educated women who took me in as their sparring partner and friend. One Saturday morning as we are packing up after a good workout, I started whining about agreeing to hang out that night with a friend.  I went on and on about being tired, having a long week and just wanting to have a night in bed curled up with my son watching some Jennifer Aniston movies.  My friend stopped me mid-rant and said, "Erica, if you don't want to go, don't go.  Tell your friend you aren't up for it and thats it.  She will understand."  Now this might be a bad example cause it would seem like I left my friend high and dry but actually I was tagging along with her and her girlfriends, so no harm, no foul.  But it dawned on me, why do I say yes to things I don't want to do only to stress and agonize about it?  And it occurred to me, this was a pattern I needed to break.  Seriously.  Why didn't I listen to myself? Why didn't I think what I wanted was worthy?  Why did I allow people (and boyfriends) to subtlety bully me into doing what they wanted me to do?  To be nice?  To have them like me?  So they wouldn't be mad at me?  Understanding these fears and breaking them done to their worst conclusions like, what if I say no to this person they won't be my friend anymore? Ok well if that is the reason they don't want to be my friend, then bye Felicia, bye!  I started small, I canceled on my friend and told her why, she totally understood and wished she could cancel too.  lol  Then I practiced saying no at the workplace, to my family and my friends.  Each no, made me more and more confident.  I began to really listen to myself and value my feelings instead of rationalizing and justifying why I should just go with the flow.  A wonderful thing started happening, my circle of friends got smaller but in a good way.  The friends who didn't respect me or felt threatened by my new found confidence melted away and faded into the background.  Do you know who was left?  The friends who really loved, respected and continue to help me grow into who I am becoming.  And I couldn't be happier, because your circle is everything.  It is your reality so if your circle is filled with negativity and self hate, guess what your reality will be?  Choose wisely and learn to say yes to yourself my loves!  You are soooo worth it! I promise.  




Cause who doesn't love a blooper!?!?!? OMG so the hubby and I did this shoot today after work (ps, thankful for longer days) and we stood local, we ran into three people we knew in like a ten minute shoot!  Hahahahaha, here I am spotting one of my husband's students coming down the stairs..

Exact Blazer (only $10!!!!)

Similar White Pants

Similar Snake Skin Print Satchel

Zara blouse was thrifted, have you checked out www.thredup.com yet, copy and paste this link to get $10 off your first purchase!! http://www.thredup.com/r/NCNHPX


Thanks for reading my loves!  Don't forget to subscribe. XOXO

by LifeStyledbyErica 💋


26 comments

  1. You look amazing dear. I have recently started saying NO to things that bring me down. I honestly used to feel guilty at first but turns out in the end I need to take care of myself first.
    http://thevagabondwayfarer.com/

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    1. Couldn't agree more. As children we are taught to be polite and we should be but we also have to be kind to ourselves. Thanks love!

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  2. Love you style. Learning to say No is def something I need to learn.

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    1. Thanks my love! It is a long road getting to a point where you are comfortable enough to say no, but so important. We are all works in progress. :)

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  3. Fellow NYer, I love it!! I grew up in the Bronx as well. When I saw your image, I immediately thought, looks like NY, and lo and behold, it is! Love the message and the outfit.

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    1. New York in the house!! If you think I look NY, you should hear me talk! Lol thanks for the love. :)

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  4. Preach! We all need reminders to put ourselves first. It's hard when you get into that people-pleasing mindset, but you have to take care of yourself above everyone else! Great message. <3

    Jenn
    www.honeydewblog.com

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    1. Hi Jenn, Agreed 100%, self love and care is paramount..I mean you can't pour from an empty glass right? :)

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  5. When I was younger I would do this all the time. Now that I'm older I make people respect my time.

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    1. I mean it is a process but an important one. Thanks!

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  6. you go girl, saying no is so challenging and rewarding at the same time! love your blazer, great color (:

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I appreciate your comment.

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  7. First off, loving your look! You styled that black & navy so perfectly. Second, it's so tough to say no, but so rewarding when you need to do it!

    Molly // Miss Molly Moon

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  8. YES! I finally learned it was ok to say no in my 30's.. I used to take on SO much and now I have no problems saying NOPE! ha!

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    1. Aren't 30's magical. Nope is PERFECT! No apologies, just not interested, or not going to happen. Please respect that boundary.

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  9. i totally agree, its hard to build this kind of confidence to say no when you want to without feeling bad or making excuses, but like you said you learn who your true friends are cause they are the ones that remain

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    1. Exactly right! And what is better than a healthy relationship? Friend, partner, parent..anyone really. :) Thanks for reading.

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  10. This post is everything! It's amazing how important it is to say no, but also so hard. Thanks for sharing this! I needed it today!

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    1. Thank you so much! It does take time and practice but so worth it in the end. Self care is everything. :)

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  11. Love this blazer and that hat so much!

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  12. I love this. Saying no definitely takes practice! Great outfit to go along with a great post :)

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  13. Being able to say no is a good thing. Especially when someone asks you to do something that you won't have enough time to do. Saying no is much better than saying yes and failing to perform.

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    1. Exactly my point! Thanks for reading!

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