The Power of Saying “No”

No one is entitled to your space.

No one is entitled to your time.

No one is entitled to you.

Repeat those three sentences until it’s ingrained into your mind and you start putting it into practice.

It’s okay to say no when you feel like it.

This two letter word can bring you so much happiness and can stop you from being exploited by those who use up your valuable time and resources while demanding things that you would never ask someone else for. Do not feel inclined to do things for people because you fear you’ll be viewed as a ‘bad person’, if what you’ve been asked for goes against your values or will put you at a disadvantage, say ‘no. ‘

If you don’t want to say no out of the fear of being blunt and uncaring you can say the following:

  • ‘I’m busy’
  • ‘I’d rather not’
  • ‘I won’t be able to because xyz’
  • ‘I’d love to help but can’t because I’ve committed to xyz’
  • ‘I can’t because it goes against my views and it makes me feel uncomfortable.’
  • ‘I don’t want to’
  • ‘No thanks’
  • ‘I can’t’

Remember, time is your most valuable asset because it is the only thing you can’t get back, so say no when you feel like it.

 

My favourite positive affirmations 

Treat yourself well, your words have power.

-apieceofsarah.com

Positive affirmations are a great way to tackle self doubt, below are a few of my favourites:

  1. Everything is well with me
  2. My soul is happy and I am a beacon of light in the world
  3. I will achieve everything that I want to achieve and I can do all off this through Christ who strengthens me.
  4. I am beautiful and love surrounds me everywhere I go.
  5. I love everyone around me and they love me too
  6. I wake up each day with a clear mind and clean heart, I forgive those who have hurt me as holding on to yesterday’s pain gives me no gain.
  7. I am smart, funny and a joy to be around
  8. I am bold with my ideas and creativity oozes from me.
  9. I excel in everything I do and I am passionate about living
  10. God did not wake me up this morning to be mediocre, so I will continue to succeed. 
  11. I am kind hearted and grateful for the life I have and people are grateful to have me.
  12. My mind is well, my soul is happy and my heart is full of love 
  13. I love to invest in myself because I am important and powerful
  14. I see prosperity everywhere I look.
  15. I am optimistic about today and confident about myself and my abilities

 
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LADIES: Put yourself 1st & be selfish

As women, we continuously put others before ourselves. We nurture, support, congratulate, motivate and basically give our all to others and then there’s nothing left for us. And quite frankly, I’m tired of it. A lot of women are selfless and give their all to others before thinking about themselves  and then they’re left with nothing to show for it e.g. they sacrifice loads for a guy, sometimes life-changing opportunities and are left short changed.

I once saw a quote that went along the lines of:

“I gave everyone bricks to build their houses and when I looked back I had no bricks to build my own and everyone shut me out and forgot about me”

Now, some people will read that and think how stupid, why would you secure everyone else first and forget about yourself. Quite frankly you’re right. When you continually put others (men) before yourself and take a backseat in your own life,  you fall into the trap of being disappointed when they don’t reciprocate the treatment, effort and love you have given them.

“One day someone you did everything for will turn around and tell you they never asked you to do those things and it will hurt you because they are right”

Save yourself the disappointment,  alot of the people you make sacrifices and jump over rivers for wouldn’t jump over a puddle for you so think about yourself first and be selfish. Don’t neglect your dreams because you’re making someone else your main focus (who by the way is concentrating on themselves not you).

Personally, I’m tired of seeing stories where  women have poured out their soul to mould a man into the person he is today or have really messed up their finances for someone who doesn’t give a flying toss about them. (You shouldn’t mess up your finances for anyone, if you think trust is hard to build, try rebuilding your credit rating lololol.)

All jokes aside, ladies please secure yourself first before you help others, be selfish with your time, finances and everything else that relates to you. Make sure you care about yourself enough to ensure your own needs are met. Stop giving up good careers (or thinking about giving up good careers) for men who wouldn’t skip match of the day for you. Don’t give up your career for anyone. Stop overexaggerating your place in people’s lives. Seriously, save yourself the heartbreak when you realize he (or she) will never do the same for you because they only care about themselves. Always remember you are the most important person in your life, so you should ALWAYS put yourself 1st.

  • Don’t you get tired of being disappointed by the way someone treats you?
  • Don’t you think this recurring cycle needs to be stopped?
  • Don’t you know that you’re not a doormat, so you weren’t made to be stepped on?

Now I’m not saying don’t be nice and stop helping people, no because it is nice to be nice. I’m saying don’t neglect yourself because you’re trying to be Mother Teresa for others.

So be selfish with everything you do: Be selfish with your space, take time out for reflection, nurture  and think about your own growth, be your own cheerleader, tolerate nothing. Focus on you!

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Self-doubt & how I deal with it

Self-doubt steals more joy and dreams than failure ever will.

Today I want to talk about  self-doubt because it is a destructive trait. There’s no way to sugar-coat it or dress it up.  It’s the epicentre of negativity and fear to me.  

Self-doubt is the lack of confidence about one’s own abilities and actions.

Examples of self doubt:

  1. “What if I’m not good enough?”
  2. “What if I don’t succeed?”
  3. “I’m too old to be starting something new anyway”
  4. “It’s never going to work”
  5. “Things never work for me”
  6. “I’ve done something similar before and failed, why would it be different now?”
  7. “I can’t do it.”

If I carried on writing, you would be reading this forever.

Self-doubt stops you from seizing opportunities because you fear you’re not good enough and feel inadequate to the task. Sometimes, it prevents you from even starting a task because you fear failure and think trying is a waste of time. At times you’ll be happy and motivated while working towards something then your critical inner voice kicks in and  the doubt starts speaking. 

So a few weeks ago,  I was thinking about one of the goals I set myself and I was happy and motivated, until the self-doubt kicked in. “Can you really do this? Is it even achievable ?  You’ve failed at something similar before, why would it work now? Am I good enough?” after this array of questions  I started  questioning myself and my abilities, wondering if  I was right. “The odds are stacked up against me so why would it be different now ?”  So I stopped working towards it for a while which was counterproductive. I was genuinely sad and stressed for a while, doing nothing and wasting my time as the self doubt grew and grew, until I spoke to my mum, re-read my accountability and consistency posts.  This reminded me what exactly I wanted and the actions I had to take to get there so I started working again.

Before I started this blog I would have had to force myself to start doing things again because life doesn’t stop for me, shocking I know. Other ways I tried to stop self-doubt are:

  • When self-doubt comes I try to disrupt and distract the thought pattern by thinking of something that makes me happy e.g a holiday, what I’m going to eat for dinner or when I’m next going to see my family.
  • I questioned my doubt and asked myself what am I genuinely afraid of, why I am so insecure about this?
  • I asked my loved ones for advice and told them how I was feeling.
  • I tried to stop seeing things as insurmountable because other people have achieved the same things I wanted to but they didn’t have two heads so why should I be worried?
  • I stopped letting doubt stop me from starting things because I realized it was counter-productive. There’s no harm in trying, there is harm in not trying at all.
  • I had to remind myself why I was doing things and the benefits of it, not how I was going to achieve it because that’s when I started questioning myself. Obviously you need to know the steps of what you want to do (assuming it’s been done before) but when I started thinking about how I was going to do these things (when I already knew the steps) I somehow talked myself out of doing them. “How will this work? How long will it take?” etc . etc
  • I stopped thinking “Can I?” and changed it to “I CAN!” It sounds really cheesy but positive thinking does wonders for your mental health and how you perceive yourself.
  • I focused on the past success in my life, the times that truly made me happy because obviously I did something right there which helped me believe in myself more.

Everyone questions themselves from time to time it’s normal. However, what’s not normal is when your doubt stops you from doing most things because you’re scared of the outcome. Just remember self-belief is more powerful than your doubt will ever be.

 
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Procrastination: The only action that doesn’t involve an action 

Procrastination is a thief of time and quality. When you procrastinate you rob yourself of the chance to produce things to the highest standard and give yourself a greater chance of failure.

Avoiding doing a task doesn’t mean it will go away, it just gives you more stress and less time to do it. A lot of people, myself included procrastinate to the point where they’re disappointed at the time (hours, days, months sometimes even years) they’ve wasted because they avoided a task by putting other things & people first. Avoid doing this because you’ll only blame yourself when things aren’t done and you lament over the lost.

How to stop procrastinating:

  • Make to-do lists and set deadlines
  • Remind yourself this task will not go away
  • Put your phone on flight mode and delete apps from your phone (I do this when I have a ton of stuff to do and I genuinely don’t want to speak to anyone)
  • Remember time is of the essence and there is no time better than now to start doing things. Life never stops there’s always something else being thrown at you
  • What will the consequences be if this task is not completed.
  • Do things in small steps because big tasks are overwhelming.
  • Tell people what you have to do, it will make you more accountable because others will know and pester you if you have not finished.
  • I like to finish the harder tasks first or at least early on as this makes me feel productive. This minimizes my stress levels so that if I do end up procrastinating, I will only have a small chunk left.

 

 

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Celebrate yourself 

Today I reached 1000 views on apieceofsarah.com

It was my goal for January and I’m over the moon. It’s nice to see my website taking shape. I also have an Instagram where I post healthy food and a Twitter account, if you didn’t know already. I would like to thank everyone who have supported me through retweeting, following, liking & reposting. It does not go unnoticed and it is so appreciated.

I decided to write this post because as humans we really don’t give ourselves enough credit on what we have achieved and focus on all the bad things we have done or time we have wasted. So I thought it was fitting to celebrate my first major milestone on this site because if you can’t celebrate yourself, who’s going to celebrate you?

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Accountability and the art of failing to prepare.

 By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

Whenever I want to be really  lazy and avoid doing major things  I remember the above quote. It’s so simple yet so true, by not preparing for something you are setting yourself up for failure.  Emphasis on “you”.

So many people don’t prepare for things which are paramount to their success like assignments, interviews, creative projects…the list goes on. Eventually they see the fruits of their labour, complain about  how they’re not going anywhere in life and  nothing is working for them yet they’re putting little or no work in.  Even though they set themselves up for their own downfall they start blaming others for their results, don’t learn from their past and the cycle continues.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Overtime, I’ve noticed the extent of work and effort individuals think they’ve completed is  repeatedly embellished in their minds. What I mean is, people are usually in denial of the amount of work they did previously and believe they put in their all, when in reality they haven’t.

People say, “I tried my best, I don’t know what went wrong” forgetting the fact they left things until last minute. Moreover, when you ask them if they did XYZ which is the necessary steps  required of them, they say “oh I couldn’t because *insert poor excuse blaming everyone else and timing here*”.  Clearly the failure to devote your time and efforts wisely has caused you to neglect your priorities. Stop blaming others and start holding yourself accountable for your own actions, it’s the only way you can move forward.

The best way to become more accountable is by remembering:

  • You are responsible for your own success.
  • Your thoughts combined with your actions control your future.
  •  If you really want something you have to get it yourself.
  • By blaming others, you’re only fooling yourself.

I think lack of accountability is caused by lack of focus because when you’re focused you have a “tunnel vision”. You don’t get distracted about what’s happening around you because your fixated on striving towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

When I was 16/17 my priorities were all over the place and any problems I had I swept under the rug because I hoped my life would sort itself out. Long story short, it didn’t.
After some sobering self-reflection following the summer after my 18th birthday I started taking responsibility for my actions because I needed things to change. I started by doing things related to my goals and ceased  waiting for life to work out on it’s own because it  evidently doesn’t. Like I said in my consistency post, “life only changes when you do.”

When I started working towards my goals and stopped making excuses for myself especially when it came to assignments/studying, I excelled. Trust me I was over the  moon—still am and I still persevere. Now, none of this would have been achieved if I didn’t take a hard look at myself and was held personally liable  for my behaviour.
If I  didn’t do this I would still be pretending everything was okay, which is what you should never do.  I know if I was as focused then as I am now, my life would be so different, but that’s the thing about hindsight  I already know the outcome of my actions and I know what I could have done differently. So I’ve stopped beating myself up over it and focused on the future because I can’t change the past .

To help me focus  I made lists in the back of my  notebooks bullet-pointing  my top  goals and when I wanted to achieve them by. This gave me a visual reminder of what I planned to do. Recently I bought a new goals journal from Paperchase  where I answer the following questions:00551484_1_1

  • What are my goals?
  • How I plan to achieve it?
  • What is my inspiration for doing it?
  •  The outcome.

I researched the things I wanted to achieve then worked from there. I prioritized my time for the things I needed to do and didn’t overwork myself by over-cramming because this can make any task daunting. Finally I was honest about what I wanted to achieve , why it was important and the consequences, so that helped me stay motivated.

Accountability, focus and failing to prepare all go hand in hand. If you lack focus you won’t hold yourself accountable for your actions as you’ll always be distracted by what’s around  you.  Concentrate on your goals and remember you are responsible for your success. Once done you will be able to drive forward and prepare for things you say you want to achieve.

 

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