My friend Sarah was having some problems setting her own boundaries and she was finding herself crippled with anxiety for the sole reason of doing so much for others that she felt she had no time for herself and was getting run down.
I worked with Sarah and we created a resentment thermometer. We decided to use this every time we had to make a decision.
The resentment thermometer is based on the level of resentment that the action, choice or decision is going to give you.
This helped Sarah and still helps me determine whether we say, ‘Yes’ or decline something. If it's going to be a decision or choice that will bring us joy, happiness and excitement, adding to our day, life or week in a positive way, then it is a big fat, ‘HELL YES’, but if it’s a decision that results in bringing resentment, anger or a flash of grey or darkness into our day, week or life, instead we say a confident, ‘NO THANKS’.
If you are going to events with resentment then spend the time, asking yourself why you couldn’t say, ‘No’.
Maybe you could use the resentment thermometer to help make decisions and set boundaries when deciding what is best for you in the areas of your life.
Always remember we need to listen to our gut and internal intuition. It will tell you straight away, just take that moment to pause, reflect and ask yourself whether you're meant to say, ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Will the decision keep the thermometer temperature low in resentment or no resentment, in a positive uplifting way? Or does the decision result in a raising of the temperature on the thermostat? If the feeling that arises when you think about it is negative such as agitation, then you have your answer.
We always know the answer, we just have to remind ourselves to listen and yes, it's super challenging at times. I still struggle with this but it does get easier and easier. We just have to trust ourselves and the process.
One way I can determine if I have made the wrong choice is when I say, ‘yes’ to something I don't want to do, I start to feel a bit queasy in the stomach.
Even if the event is a week away, I know deep down that I just don’t want to go. If I have one week to go to that party and I start thinking up every excuse under the sun for why I can’t go, the answer is kicking me in the butt.
Instead of being a friend who lies and makes up lame excuses, I now take a breath and comfortably say, ‘Thank you so much for the invite. But unfortunately, I cannot come.’ No need to give a reason, no justification needed. We instead just have to be comfortable with choosing, ‘No’.
By no means does it mean you are selfish.I know that most of us have been trained and taught growing up that it's polite to go and say, ‘yes’, when you get invited, but I think it’s more polite and respectful when you value your time, energy and happiness levels that you only choose to go and do things that inspire and energise you.
This way, you can share your authentic love and real energy, showing up being your best at the events that you do attend.