I’m talking about YOU.
YOUR check engine light.
The engine that needs tending to is your mind, your body, your spirit.
Maybe you don’t ever think about checking in with yourself like you would your car. Or maybe you know you need to, but you just….. don’t.
Recently, I had a conversation with someone I work with about taking better care of herself, and that meant learning how to start saying no. I felt confident in giving her this kind of advice because just a short 8 months ago is when I had this epiphany myself.
You’ve likely heard it before from other people… “Take care of yourself first” “you’re going to burn out” “you’re overloading yourself” and yadayadayada. And you might believe the words your family or friends are telling you. You might even see them as warning signs. But you believe in yourself and your resiliency more. So you keep going.
9 times out of 10 it will take some major life event, or some major breakdown for you to have the same epiphany as I did. And only then will you truly see that check engine light for what it is. A cry for help that is long overdue.
As I was texting back and forth with this coworker, she said to me:
“You’re so right. Such a hard thing to learn, especially when you’re young and everyone says ‘put your head down and grind it out’ “
And that’s exactly it. So many other people preach to be busy. They preach to grind grind grind with no rest, because while you’re resting someone else is working. We are told to try new things, say yes to everything because the moment we say no is the moment further opportunities cease to exist. We are told that we’re not experienced enough yet, but if we keep working for it, we might just get there. So head down, laser in the focus, and get to work. Who cares if your plate is overloaded. There’s no rest for the wicked.
But here’s the thing.
You can rest. Will other people put more hours of work in than you? Yes. Will other people work tirelessly for years on end with no quit? Yes. Will those people ever tell you that they too, are burned out? No. Because they too are being fed the same “grind it out, no rest” bullshit.
The difference between you, as a person who has learned to say “no”, and those people who you might admire that don’t ever say no is the quality of the work you put in.
When you say no to things that might only feed your soul temporarily, you leave room for the opportunities that fill your soul to the brim. You’ll become more excited about your work or tasks at hand because what you have chosen to say YES to is what you truly LOVE TO DO. You’ll be putting in your very best to those few yes items, while those around you might be only putting half effort into too many yes items and not enough no’s.
That same friend of mine said later in our conversation “I can’t have it all”. To which I replied, you CAN, you just can’t have it all at 110%.
Some things require 110%.
Other things you mistake for needing 110% because when you don’t give them 110% is when you are letting other people down. And that’s the problem. If someone else wants something to be 110%, you’re not required to put 110% in for the both of you. Let the other person make up the slack. You don’t have to dismiss the job, the duty, the relationship, etc from your life completely, just know it isn’t all up to you to fill it to 110%. or even 110%
Remember kids, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Fill your cup first.
you can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no
It’s not up to you to please everyone else.
It’s not up to you to clear other people’s plates so they can feel relieved while you overload your own plate.
It’s not up to you to make sure that any besides yourself is feeling alive, is feeding their goals, is on track to greatness.
The only thing that is up to you is YOU and how you choose to live each day.
So let’s say it again….
The moment you start saying “no” to things that don’t truly matter and won’t positively impact you, and start saying “yes” to yourself is the moment everything will change.
Not only will you be happier, because you will be less stressed. Your mood will lift, you’ll be more productive because you aren’t weighed down as much. You will think clearer, move with more efficiency and purpose. You will be a well oiled machine! And THOSE are the kind of machines that we need working. Those are the kind of engines that get you to your desired destination.
Engines with rusty old fuel.
Machines that are falling apart.
They will never work. They will never compare to the well oiled machine.
And you my friend, YOU’RE the machine.
And you’re the only machine that you need to focus on.
Because the other machines around you that appear to be well oiled and fully functioning, probably have deep issues far beneath the hood.
And to be completely transparent my friends, this is something I still work on daily. Is it true that I had an “epiphany” about 8 months ago that told me to chill out? Yes. But at the same time, grinding it out, helping others, loading my plate has been something I was proud to do for the past 8 years. It will take time to find the perfect balance. The hardest thing for me right now isn’t saying no, it’s the feeling of needing to justify why I am saying no. And that simply isn’t something that needs to happen. Saying no is a singular person’s decision, it impacts just one person, and YOU are that singular person. Not everyone needs to know your motives. So as I go on, I’ll keep saying yes to the blessings and no to the rest. And when I say no, I need to just leave it at that. To all my family, friends, and co-workers reading this, I hope you understand <3.
you are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm
Fill your cup.
Thanks for reading! Do you too, feel like your check engine light is on? Let's talk this one out Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Or find me on Instagram @lifeofcarlyb_ Peace, love, happiness, and FREEDOM ❤ Carly B