Simplifying our lives is really all about setting boundaries and sticking to them. Determining what’s important to us – to ourselves and our families – and not allowing other peoples’ needs to interfere. This is hard. This is difficult. And this is important.

Often we say yes when we really want to say no because we want to please the other person, either to gain their approval or to prove our worth to them.

Each time we do this we place more value on how they view us than we do on how we view and value ourselves.

Think back to the last time you said yes when you really wanted to say no. Close your eyes and imagine yourself right back in that same situation. How did your body feel? Did you feel energized or drained? Did you feel full of love and helpfulness or did you feel full of shoulds and must dos?

As an example, I have a hard time saying what I truly want when I know that the other person feels differently. I want to please them. I want them to like me. Every time I say yes when I really mean to say no, I feel my life force energy actually moving out of my body and aura and into theirs as I think, “Yes, I’ll do what you want me to do because I really, really, really want you to approve of me.”

Has this ever happened to you?

If you are leaking your energy out to others in shoulds and must-do’s, then you are depleting your own life force – and that’s not healthy.

Before you say yes when you really want to say no, stop and breathe. Give yourself time to think and ask yourself why you want to say yes.

Are you seeking their approval?

Do you feel guilty just thinking about saying no?

Does this yes fit within your priorities?

Allow your intuition to be your guide. If your stomach is queasy and your energy is suddenly depleted, that’s a sure sign that this request is not in alignment with your own needs. And there’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first. Remember what the flight attendant always says, “Place your own oxygen mask on first, then help someone else do the same.”

Above all, don’t feel guilty about saying no! Practice. Have your phrases ready. Make a list of how you would say no, and use that list.

Simplifying your life is learning to let go of those things, those people, and those shoulds that are not life-sustaining. This is when saying no and sticking to it is such a powerful tool. It’s major league boundary setting.

It all boils down to self-worth. How much do you value your time and your priorities? Are you looking outside for validation or are you looking within?

Written by Della Temple, a BPI graduate who writes, teaches, and heals. She is the author of:

  • Tame Your Inner Critic: Find Peace & Contentment to Live Your Life on Purpose
  • Walking in Grace with Grief: Meditations for Healing After Loss

Explore her work at

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