Persistent Demands 

Every working mom faces demands on her time. Some of those are legitimate. As moms, we have responsibilities to fulfill. The problem starts when we begin to value other people’s responsibilities and more than our own time.

How does this happen? First, many women let their desire to be helpful outweigh their own priorities and needs. Second, women often fear they won’t be liked or they’ll be viewed as selfish or lazy if they say “No.” Third, some women fear that saying “No” will lead to confrontation, and they don’t want to disappoint their colleagues/friends/family.

The Guilt Complex

When working moms do say ‘No” to demands on their time, the Guilt Complex can rear up, leaving them feeling unsure, selfish, and depressed. Unfortunately, many people play on this guilt complex to passively influence women to say “Yes” to demands on their time. As a result, women are conditioned to say “Yes” until they find that they have no time left for themselves.

Value Your Time

No one is going to value your time until YOU do. Agreeing to other people’s requests for your time devalues your time and emphasizes theirs. When faced with a request, ask yourself:

* Will fulfilling this request energize me or deplete me?
* Is the time I give to this request more important than the time I can give to myself?
* Is fear (or guilt or another negative emotion) influencing my decision to accept this request?
* How many other requests for my time have I accepted this week or month?
* How much time do I have for myself this week or month? Will accepting this request take that time from me (or other, more important, people)?

3 Steps to Get Started Today

1. Stop saying “Yes” automatically. Pay attention to what you’re feeling when faced with a request for your time and honor those feelings.

2. Take time to consider whether each request forces you to sacrifice time better spent elsewhere. YOU control your time—make your choices wisely.

3. Stop feeling guilty. You have every right to control your time—it’s YOUR time and it’s valuable.

If you practice these steps consistently, you’ll start to escape feeling overwhelmed and stressed. And as you begin to honor your feelings and value your time, you’ll begin to feel a renewed energy.

In the next edition, you’ll learn 7 Ways to Say No with Confidence.

Yara Nielsenshultz of Living Forward Coaching helps working moms find guilt-free time for themselves by helping them create, nurture, and implement an inspiring vision for who they want to be. Yara brings a unique perspective to coaching, encouraging clients to foster a Deliberate Imbalance(TM). Learn more atwww.livingforwardcoaching.com.

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