The subtle art of saying no

Have you ever been asked to do something that you really don’t want to? And you spent hours, if not days, trying to conjure up an excuse as to why you can’t do it? And not just any excuse, but a plausible excuse. Family events, a friend’s birthday, a reunion, a prior commitment at a prior venue that you simply could not skip on. Alternatively, we begrudgingly say yes and complain that we have to participate in this random thing that we’ve been asked to do, so that we don’t offend the person asking us.

We’ve all been there. Making up excuses, searching for excuses, before finally giving. But to be quite frank, I’m pretty sick of doing things that I don’t want to do. What better excuse of not doing something than simply, ‘I don’t want to.’

Image result for i'm busy gif

I think from a young age, we are programmed to please people. Especially as a woman, we’re expected to be obedient, to play along, and do whatever it is to please the people around us. It means sacrificing our time, energy and effort to keep the peace and keep everyone happy. Whilst this isn’t the end of the world, and saying yes can be a great thing, there’s something terrifyingly empowering about saying no.

Image result for no thank you gif

This is not only apparent in our personal lives, but also in our professional ones. As a young professional, I have been brought up in an environment where I feel the need to prove myself. That I couldn’t possibly have earned my position because I’m too young. So I find myself holding incredibly high expectations of myself, pushing myself and putting my hand up for everything to prove how deserving I am of having the opportunity to have this job. This is a pretty self-destructive notion that will quickly lead to burnout and feeling unrecognised for the extra work you’re pushing yourself to do.

I used to think that saying no was saying no to new opportunities, to miss out on growing, to limit yourself and ultimately hold yourself back. And whilst sometimes saying yes to things that make you feel uncomfortable is freakin awesome and does facilitate growth, saying no doesn’t mean you miss out on that opportunity.

I’ve recently come to understand that time is one of the most precious things we have. And it’s important to protect it at all costs. As our lives get busier and busier, our weekends get booked out months in advance and seeing friends becomes a series of cancellations and rescheduling, the last thing you want to be doing is spending your precious time doing things that you don’t really want to do.

I’ve found myself asking, how the heck do I say no? To a friend, a family member, a colleague, a boss, a partner… so here are some little phrases and sayings.

  • That’s not really my scene
  • Thanks but there’s other things I’d rather be doing
  • That’s not really up my alley
  • I’m going to have a ‘me day’ instead
  • Can you elaborate on why you need me to do it specifically?
  • Can I think about it and get back to you?
  • I can’t commit to this at the moment

At the end of the day, saying no is an empowering thing. Saying no can set new boundaries. It can challenge people and get them to seriously think about what they’re asking you. It is self-care by honouring and respecting your time. And at the end of the day, you’re just one person. You can’t possibly do everything for everyone, and if you can, then maybe it’s time to start putting yourself first. Say yes to saying no!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: OCTOBER 2017

I’M FINISHED MY DEGREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! OMG! Words really cannot describe how I’m feeling (maybe a little hungover from all the celebrations) but damn 4 years, two degrees and I’m finally done! I’m sure with my new found spare time I’ll be blogging about how it actually feels. This month has been a roller coaster, finishing a degree and applying for another is stressful. But I made it and now I can finally relax and celebrate my achievement. Let’s have a look back on the tumultuous month that was October.

Capture

💃🏻 Feeling Confident and Proud of Myself

OK so I know this is super lame and cliché, but this month I’ve felt incredibly proud of everything I’ve achieved across my 4 years at uni. And not just uni related, but in a lot of aspects of my life. This month I spoke at the National Leadership Conference, worked hard at work, have been smashing out my uni assignments, taking time for my friends, boyfriend and myself…. and I think I’ve made it out rather unscathed. I know it may seem a bit la di dah, but every now and again it’s important to take a step back and think, damn…. I’m doing well. And I think that’s what finishing a degree means.

IMG_1557

🇫🇷 French

For those of you who don’t know, French is my major for one of my degrees, and it’s definitely one of the skills I’ve struggled and worked extremely hard at. Learning a language is extremely difficult, and therefore it’s important you have a good support system around you. I’m incredibly grateful for my bobos who have supported me through this last and final year of French. Not only in the classroom, but helping me indulge in my obsession with cheese, by arranging wine and cheese nights out at the Throsby. I’m super proud of my level of French and it’s definitely one of the life skills I want to continue to improve. Alors merci beaucoup mes bobos, je ne survivrais pas sans vous. 

 

 

 

 

🎓 DEGREE!!!

I have officially submitted my final assignment for my Bachelor of Communications & Media Studies – Bachelor of International Studies (Deans Scholar) – Majors: Global Media, French Minor: Global Sustainable Development

Woooo!

IMG_9093

🎶 Tunes

BØRNS. Damn this track is absolutely fabulous. The dance moves are to die for, and the music is just stunning. Always puts me in such a good mood.

Demi Lovato. OK for any of you who know me quite well, you’ll know that this is absolutely, completely NOT the sort of music I usually go for. But DAMN this album is actually amazing. My friend Chloe and I secretly disclosed this info to each other. ‘Hey have you heard Demi Lovato’s new album?’ ‘Yeah!’ ‘OMG it’s actually good’ ‘OMG thank god you think that, I’ve been listening to it on repeat!’ 

🎥 Flicks

Lovelace. THIS FILM IS AMAZING!!! It’s an incredibly story and filmed in such an exciting yet deeply sad way. I’ve been finding some amazing flicks on SBS On Demand so make sure you keep an eye out there for some amazing flicks!

📗Books

So apparently I’ve been on a bit of a reading rampage this month… reading is so rewarding and relaxing I always try to take time before bed to do some reading and put my mind to rest for the night.

Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay. I’ve been wanting to read this book for such a long time and I finally got my hands on it. For anyone grappling with their identity as a woman, or as a feminist, I would highly recommend this book. It’s easy to read and broken into distinctive chapters that address a broad variety of issues such as race, assault, entertainment and identity.

41wmScO2UaL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Violent Borders – Reece Jones. At the beginning of this book, Jones discusses a small Spanish city called Melilla. He then mentions that the city is actually located in Morocco. Literally stop what you’re doing and look it up on Google Maps, it will amaze you! He then discusses how Spain is a part of the EU and therefore migrants from Northern Africa risk everything trying to make it into the fortressed city of Melilla to land on EU soil and be processed correctly as refugees. You can read more about Melilla here (I honestly was so amazed by this!) but this book is a fantastic look at the current refugee crisis and examines how nations (even including Australia) are struggling to manage their borders.

9781784784744-bfb5ee87468aec138c98eecde72f85df

1984- George Orwell. MIND. BLOWN! I honestly couldn’t put this book down. It was miserable, depressing, gripping and real. I read it in about a week and I think I could’ve easily smashed it out quicker than that! Cannot recommend enough. Also after classic book recommendations, so if you’ve got them, send them through!

georgeorwellxobeygiantprintset-1984coverbyshepardfairey

📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

👼 Twenty Something Mummy. I’ve never met Lucy myself, but I grew up in the same area as her and have followed her on Instagram for quite a while. She’s recently started vlogging and I’m really enjoying watching her! It’s definitely content I’m not used to seeing as I don’t exactly follow many mums on Instagram, but I love her voice and think it’s a real value being added to the whole ‘Twenty Something’ millennial community. Definitely go check her out!

Capture

💛 🌻 ✈️  Raya Was Here

I’ve always been a fan of Raya’s channel, but lately her Instagram has been POPPIN! I’m absolutely in love. She’s such a positive and bright person who is such an inspiration to so many people! And that yellow dress!

Screenshot 2017-10-31 18.33.51

📝 Quote

The following quotes translates to ‘we are our choices.’ Jean-Paul Sartre was a French writer who turned down the Nobel Prize for literature (yep I learnt that in my French class – impressed bobos?). But this really resonated with me. Each and every day we make choices, that determine how we feel, our attitude, feelings, outlook on life… Each and every choice we make has the power to change our lives. We are our choices, so take pride in these choices to live your best life.

Screenshot 2017-10-31 18.42.09

Well… what a month. It absolutely flew by I can’t believe it. In the blink of an eye, I’ve finished my degree. November holds some pretty exciting things in store so definitely watch this space because I have a hell of a lot more free time which means blogging and vlogging!

Much love!

10 Things I ‘Learned’ From Lena Dunham

Having smashed through the hilariously witty novel ‘Not That Kind of Girl,’ I just had to share with you how incredibly f*cking awesome it is and the 10 things I have ‘learned.’

Get it and get it now
Get it and get it now

1. Lena is ridiculously talented. Actress, director, writer, and independent strong women who don’t need no man (or woman for that matter). Her humble success seeps through the pages of this book and episodes of her TV show ‘Girls,’ injecting me with drive and excitement that I too one day could accomplish great things.

2. Even though there’s no such thing as ‘normal,’ Lena makes all of your bizarre, morally incorrect, questionable and somewhat insane ideas seem, well… normal.

3. You deserve nothing less than the best, especially when it comes to relationships. All those little doubts that we have in our mind about ourselves are absolutely obliterated by the following passage.

“Being treated like shit is not an amusing game or a transgressive intellectual experiment. It’s something you accept, condone, and learn to believe you deserve. This is so simple. But I tried so hard to make it complicated.” 

4. We don’t need to confine to labels. Whether it be single, in a relationship, gay, straight, bi, happy, sad, anxious, crazy, fat, skinny… as soon as we assume one of these labels, it leads us to subconsciously act and think in a certain way relating to that label. Lena discusses her ‘girl crush’ and how she hates using the term because it implies inferiority to other crushes or relationships. But the fact of the matter is, that happy people can have sad days, straight people can be attracted to someone of the same sex, and even though it’s hot at 30degrees outside, it can still rain.

5. Confidence is the most timeless fashion you can wear.

LenaDunhamVMagazine-1024x684

6. Girls have quite a lot of shit to deal with at any one time. She splits her book up into various parts addressing issues like; body image and self confidence, sex, sexuality and relationships, family and friends, careers and pursuits and everything in between. If anything, this book is an ode to women and all that we can do and are capable of doing/dealing with at any one time.

7. Challenge yourself! Because great things don’t happen to you in the warmth and familiarity of your comfort zone.

“It’s not brave to do something that doesn’t scare you.”

8. Break ups are tough and there’s no easy or right way to do it. Having just dealt with a break up of my own, it’s hard to come to terms with the whole concept of love, being single again and just readjusting to a life without that someone special. Whilst I was the one who ended things, my heart felt just as broken. However, Lena made me feel brave and empowered that I had put my heart and emotions first and that ultimately was taking control of who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go. It was an absolutely terrifying experience but at the end of the day, I know it’s for the best for both of us and that a few months from now I’ll be able to look back on that relationship with fond memories.

9. Keep on writing and keep on telling my story. I sometimes feel a little hesitant to write, let alone call myself a writer of any description because I guess sometimes I don’t feel qualified to write about the sort of things I do or that I haven’t had enough life experience. But the thing is that everyone has a different perspective on something, different values and different experiences which shared with the world, can contribute to a better understanding of one another.

“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman. As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren’t needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter. That personal writing by women is no more than an exercise in vanity and that we should appreciate this new world for women, sit down, and shut up.”

10. Each and every one of you reading this is beautiful. I think this is an idea that will take a while to fully internalise, but it’s definitely growing on me. After finishing this book, with a smile on my face, I had an amazing realisation that I am me. If someone doesn’t like that, that’s not my problem at all. I feel like I’ve discovered a new found self confidence where I’m not afraid to let the real me show and flaunt my flaws.

So I hope this has inspired you to run down to your local book shop and devour her tasteful words.

xxx A