I should’ve been sitting in Bali right now. In a fancy resort with 40 other entrepreneurs. Learning about online business and creating content. But I’m not… And I’m going to use this experience to explain why learning to say no will improve your life.
Ok, so I wasn’t just going to be attending an event. This was going to be my first international speaking gig. And I was initially thrilled by the opportunity because I was going to be speaking alongside some real big players in the online space.
It was only going to be a small, intimate event so nothing too scary for my first speaking gig. And when I was first asked to speak, I didn’t even hesitate. I was thrilled by what this event could do for me and my business. Speaking alongside all these big names.
But then I got the contract brief and I was no longer excited.
I started to realise that the event organiser was expecting way more from me than I initially anticipated. Which was all well and good. But she wasn’t even paying me and I never thought to ask her for money. When we first spoke we had agreed she would cover my accommodation and I would have to get myself there and also be speaking.
Being my first event and seeming like such an awesome opportunity to get my name out there I agreed. But the more I thought about what she was expecting of me, the worse I felt. Plus I had seen posts about what other people were expecting her to pay them. And I had never even spoken to her about payment.
So in the end I couldn’t bring myself to do any of what she was asking me to do. In fact, I couldn’t even bring myself to reply to her messages or calls. That’s when alarm bells started ringing. And eventually I had to tell her that I just couldn’t commit to our agreement. Don’t get me wrong, I felt terrible.
But at the same time, I needed to put myself first for once.
You see, I have this innate habit of needing to please people. I go above and beyond to prove my worth to them by over delivering on expectations. And then get frustrated or burnt out when I don’t get the recognition I feel I deserve.
It’s why I ended up leaving the bank, because I felt really unappreciated and overworked. And it’s also the reason why I decided to step away from the affiliate program I dedicated basically all of last year to.
And of course the only person to blame for that is myself. But thankfully I was able to recognise this habit and do something about it before I felt the same thing again. I’ve put it into practice with brands who try to get me to create content for free. And I did it with this event as well.
Now, I would’ve loved to get the dream images I’ve seen them all creating this week.
But, was getting a photo with a floating breakfast, or in a floral spa bath worth lowering my standards for? No.
I’ve been to Bali more times than I can count. And I know I can go back there again any time I want and get those images if I really want to. So it wasn’t worth sacrificing my wellbeing to be there at this particular moment.
Because I’ve finally learnt that I’m worth so much more than a free product in exchange for my time and effort.
I’ve connected with so many savvy business owners and influencers this year. And have learnt about how they determine their rates for the same work I was doing for free most of the time.
Free products are all well and good, but they don’t pay the bills!
I’ve spent so long chasing the dream that I was missing out on all the good stuff in my own reality.
Over the last two years I’ve travelled internationally about 10 times for various events. And every single one of those times I had to travel alone. Because my boyfriend was either working or scared to travel on his current visa in case he didn’t get let back in to Australia.
Every time I wished he could’ve been there. And every time it was so hard going without him. But I was driven by this notion that ‘events change lives’. It had been drummed into my head constantly by every single leader in the various affiliate programs I was promoting. Of course it had, because they wanted to sell out their events. And they wanted to use those events as a vehicle to sell us more products.
Now don’t get me wrong. Each of these events has changed my life in some way. Be it through the connections I’ve made, the amazing experiences in some of the world’s fanciest resorts, and the lessons I’ve learnt from the speakers. But I’ve also had to sacrifice a lot to attend each of these events.
My sister didn’t even choose me for her bridal party because I wasn’t sure I could commit to certain dates because of my ridiculous commitment to these events. Thankfully I didn’t end up missing any of her wedding festivities. But the fact it even crossed my mind makes me realise how mixed up my priorities had been.
So this year has been all about nurturing the people closest to me.
After losing nonna last year I really started to rethink my priorities. And I realised how precious time is and how I should be prioritising the people around me. As much as I love to travel, it’s not that fun going on all these trips with people I hardly know.
I want to experience these places with the people I love the most.So I made a commitment that I won’t be going on any trips this year unless it’s with Freddie, my closest friends, or family. And that’s another reason why I decided to say no to this event.
Learning to say no is extremely difficult.
But it’s all about taking back control over your life. If you live your life constantly trying to please others you will always find yourself in situations you don’t feel great about.
So if you have a bad feeling about something or it doesn’t feel like you’re being valued. Then learning to say no is a huge factor in getting the results you desire.
Often we think we have to take every opportunity that comes at us because we might never get an opportunity like that again. And we think these opportunities will bring us the success we desire. We put all our energy into this one thing being the one that will tip us to success. Then when it’s not we go in search of the next thing, and the next.
And this kind of thinking is coming from a place of lack and fear. So instead, we need to learn to be better judges of whether something is really good for us or not.
If an opportunity doesn’t feel aligned, move on.
Look at it as a stepping stone to getting closer to what you actually do want, but don’t give it any more thought than that. If you could get that thing, then you can definitely get the better thing. You just need to keep working for it.
And that’s how you’ll truly get the success you desire.
I’d love to know if you’ve had any experiences with learning to say no? What made you realise the importance of doing this? How has it changed your life?
And as usual, if you like what you’ve read feel free to like, comment, or share. Your time reading my posts is greatly appreciated.