I’ve always been a social butterfly. Being around people is my fuel. When I was in third grade I was throwing "Dance Party USA" parties at my house. Today, I love throwing dinner parties, or organizing a brunch with friends on Sunday. I can talk on the phone for hours, I love meeting new people, and I love talking in front of large groups of people. They are all just friends I haven't met yet.
I don't want to miss out on anything! In the past I have been the go-to girl to organize birthday outings for my friends, to plan the baby shower, to choose the restaurant for dinner, or the shoulder to cry on after a breakup.
I love it… most of the time. But that was definitely before my baby. Because honestly, I just don't have the time and energy to fit it all in now....even if I still wanted to!
But you see, the social butterfly/nurturer/giver has a shadow side: the over-responsible, over-committed, over-giver girl. Have you met her?
You know her by feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, like no one is appreciating you, that if you don’t plan her birthday - no one else will, or if you don't go to that party someone's feelings will be hurt, like you can’t stop at just 3 cookies - it’s the only thing that feels good!
My very best friend and I have been able to work through some of these things together. Luckily, she has put up with me, and honestly communicated when I dropped her multiple times because I had over committed myself. My weeks jam packed with parties, work stuff, social obligations. I would look at the calendar and only have one free day out of 14.
If this feels familiar, look at your calendar and honestly look at what things are at a 5-Most important and what things are at a 1-Least Important.
There was a time when if I had done this exercise I would be stumped because everything felt like a 5! Everything in the world felt like it is was the most important thing because I was operating on two beliefs:
1. I need to control in order to matter.
2. I am responsible for someone else being happy.
I have realized that I have a choice. I can do things because I feel like I “have to” / “should be able to handle it” or I can ask my whole higher soul self what I really need.
When I asked her, that wise, all-knowing part of me, she said "SLOW DOWN". So I looked at my calendar and I cancelled some things. I said NO.
But oh man, did I feel guilty, panic, stress, and unsure.
Here’s what I discovered in the canceling process:
1. Picking up the phone to tell someone you can’t do something is really hard.
2. Most people are completely understanding.
3. Some people are not, but I realized that me having space in my life was worth pissing some people off.
4. I could never “get enough done” in order to have space, I just had to stop, today.
5. Creating the life you want takes guts, and it’s totally worth it.
The bonus: Your YES has so much more power when you can fully be present and have energy and clear focus behind your commitment. But you have to learn to say NO.
The biggest thing I’ve been facing is this question: If I’m not the social butterfly/nurturer/giver who am I?
At this point, I have no idea. But I am beginning to. And I do know that I now have space and breathing room for that person to come in and I am excited to meet her.
Now, during this holiday season when there are endless options for holiday parties, obligations, stress, and eating way more than 3 cookies I want you to ask yourself what your Whole
Higher Soul self needs. Are you suffering from over responsibility and overcommitting?
I challenge you to cancel at least one thing, and I encourage you to cancel and say no to more. Make time for yourself and for the most important people and things in your life right now.
The less you have on your plate, the more joy, magic an happiness you can actually take in from your life.
In the comments on the blog, I would love to know if you have any tips on how to say no to people and obligations, and what things specifically are you committed to canceling so you can create space in your life?
Can’t wait to hear from you,