Start Saying No


On How to Start Saying No

I (Stella) recently moved to New York, started grad school and a new part-time job. I have been finding myself overstretched with my time and energy, between balancing, work, school and my social life. I’ll admit, the core behind this problem is that I am an extreme people pleaser. I don’t know how to say no to people’s requests, which have left me feeling unhappy and exhausted.  In this episode of NPR’s Lifekit, Natalie Lue shares useful tips on how to curb our people-pleasing habits. People pleasing, just like anything else, is a habit that we can learn to change. Here are some things you can do: 1. Observe. Notice how you spend your energy. How are you responding to others’ requests of you? 2. Understand your bandwidth and learn to respect it. No matter who you are, you have a limited amount of time and energy. Before responding to a request, notice how you’re feeling both mentally and physically.  3. Learn the difference between a desire and an obligation. “If you do things from a place of guilt or obligation. It’s guaranteed to lead to resentment.” 4. Before you say yes, pause. Consider if the other person is making a suggestion or a demand of you. Often, it is a suggestion that you do something, which means you have the power to take or leave the suggestion. 5. Learn the art of the soft no. Learning to stick to an elegant “no,” without being overly apologetic. I know I could use these tips, I hope you find them helpful too. NPR.

On Learning from Smart People

In this piece, Ryan Holiday makes a list of 33 wisdom he has learned from smart and successful people over the years. Here are a few of my favorites. 1. Read. Learn about history,  people and cultures outside of your own. Reading is one of the best ways to open our minds to new ideas and perspectives. 2. LOVE is best spelled TIME. We are what we devote our energy to. Are you happy about how and with whom you’re spending your precious time? If not, change that. 3. Focus on the process more than the outcome. Whatever you are doing or learning to do, you probably will get more out of it if you focus less on the end result. 4. Go to what will teach you the most, not what will pay the most. Once you can take care of your everyday expenses and student loans, consider choosing a job or working on projects that you love and where you will learn the most. Forge.

On Writing a New Year’s Letter in September

This year has been a tremendous year of change for all of us. As we approach the end of 2020, I invite you to pause and recalibrate. In this next week, take a moment to sit down with some pen and paper, and write a letter to yourself to be opened on January 1st, 2021. There are no limitations to what you can write, but some questions to help guide your thinking: What do you want to remember about your year thus far? How have you changed this year? What do you wish were different? Where do you hope to be this time next year?  This writing exercise has been a tradition of mine for many years. I have found it to be surprisingly centering and rewarding. Learn more about this exercise and sign up for a reminder here.