knowing my limits

The first step to simplifying your life: know your limits.

In this age of doing it all and chasing success it’s quite difficult to stand up and say: “Actually, I can’t do that right now.” But when you do you experience the most profound sense of relief and empowerment. It’s so satisfying to admit that you have limitations and you have the foresight to stick to them – for your own wellbeing.

Late last year I realised that I’m prone to taking too much on – because I feel obligated and because I want to please. Think of it as a personality trait – one that doesn’t necessarily serve me well. As the New Year dawned I promised myself that I wouldn’t agree to every single proposal I was offered (professionally and personally). Instead, I would take the time to think about what it meant for me in the scheme of things; can I fit it into my life? Will I enjoy doing this? Is this something that works with my current parenting commitments? Does it benefit me?

Some may call this mindset selfish; I’d call it sensible. After all, I’m making the decision for myself and my family – I can’t afford to be swamped, I can’t fall apart. I’m noticing a certain shift for many mothers around me; they are acknowledging that life is much more enjoyable when its simple. More of us are saying “No” and we’re reaping the benefits.

So: acknowledge your limits – it’s freeing and refreshing.

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  • Reply

    Perfect timing Jodi. I said no last week to a professional job. And it nearly killed me to say it, but the relief when I did {and admitted to myself that the stress taking on one more thing would cause was not worth it} was amazing. I'll get better at it with practise I'm sure. Elisa xx

  • Jess B

    I agree! Last year was a tough one for us: my husband had a bad head injury and I was expecting our fourth baby (my beautiful Gryffen) – and so I got really good at saying no. It was BLISS when Gryffen was born and I decided to just stay home and put no pressure on myself to get out. For the first few months I went nowhere but Mum's house and the supermarket! I think it's important to find the balance between your own family's needs and the needs of your people (friends, family etc) – with the scales weighted on the side of your own family. If you are overwhelmed, you ain't gonna be helping nobody! 😉 Good on you for making tough – but good – choices. x

  • mel @ loved handmade

    I'm terrible at saying no, I don't like to offend, but you're right, sometimes you just need to think about the's a tricky balance sometimes.

    • Jodi

      I find most people really appreciate my honesty when I tell them that what they're asking for is beyond me – especially when I'm chatting with other mothers x

  • Eloise

    I have a friend who always says "let me think about it and get back to you". She therefore makes considered decisions, freeing herself of impulsive promises and commitments. I really admire this about her, and have made it my mission to do the same. It really works wonders! x

  • Leigh

    So true and lovely 🙂 I love reading your blog, you are truly inspiring me to continue my own simple life journey. Thank you for sharing your world.

  • Brenda @ 13 Acres

    so so true! i just had a chat with my dear friend about taking on too much and as mothers "holding it all together" for the sake of the family…sometime, admitting that you can't do something and then taking your time to do others at a slower pace is so empowering! wonderful post xx

  • Elizabeth Santillan

    We've been laying low a bit lately too, adjusting to life with a school kid and only having weekends together as a family has been a big change for us! It's great just to sit back and enjoy being home.

  • Sam Stone

    I really need to do more of this. I need to accept that it is ok to say NO.

  • Christie R

    I remember when I first had this revelation. It was incredibly liberating. Peace is not worth the price of pleasing everyone. x

  • Smykolandia

    You are right Jodi. For me sometimes it's hard to say "no" at work. Therefoere I am overloaded. Someone says you should be more assertive. Yea, I know about it. It's diffucult to find "border line" between well behaved and not to be "used".

  • sleepyummy

    I had a similar conversation with my husband last night. We spoke about how now live small lives, primarily home based, family focused lives, and how pleased I am that we do. We spoke about how we feel our family is benifiting from just being, not buying or doing, doing, doing. We have been saying 'no' to more things, things that we ourselves might like to do but that we know won't benefit our family. I wonder if some of our friends feel we don't want to see them, but it is just that we are prioritising us. This has largely been our approach I must add that it has become increasingly important after the arrival of our third babe, and the commencement of school for our eldest.

  • Janey G

    so true! the simple life had been beckoning this age of women for along time! We have been in a fog of 'do everything' and calmness is needed. so glad you are seeing your own limitations and honouring them xxxxx

  • Bron Maxabella

    I'm such a pleaser – I can't seem to beat it out of myself. Knowing my limits is one thing, respecting them is another. I struggle!! x

  • Vicky

    I think it's definitely a sensible way to be; I've got to the point where I'm often trying to complete two pieces of work at once, while mentally concentrating on the next one. In reality, I don't want to be doing either, I want to be reading with my children or working on the garden – so after reading this post, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Thanks for the inspiration, perfect timing.

  • Bridie @ Miss And Misters

    I find that when I hear other people say no to things in their lives, I feel more able to say no in mine… Like seeing other people I admire doing it gives me permission in a way. It's empowering.

  • Sonia LifeLoveandHiccups

    I so admire people that can comfortably say no. I am trying, I really am xx

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