For the majority of my life I’ve been searching for fulfilment in other things – mostly in the form of other people and toxic substances. But more recently, since being sober and letting go of unhealthy relationships, I have been free of distractions and forced to face myself. I decided that I wanted to take more of an active role in getting to know who I am without people and drugs and what it is that I really want. This has meant I have learnt to proudly say no to things and no to people.

Through being more in tune with myself and the powerful gift of hindsight, I have been able to recognise that I had often said “yes” when I really meant “no”. I found that I would do this to “keep the peace” and to make people like me. But who’s peace was I keeping? And what’s the use in being liked when I didn’t even like myself?

When we say yes to things when we really mean no, we start to teach ourselves (and others) that their needs come before our own. But when I begun to say no (honouring how I truly felt) I started to notice a deep level of inner love and the fulfilment that I was searching for in avoiding rocking the boat started to come to me. The fulfilment that I was so desperately seeking in others was within me the whole time. 

At first I felt bad, I was pissing people off and it was alien to me to be that assertive. I explained this to my life coach, Olivia. I said that I was worried about upsetting people and she said to me: “disappoint everyone else before disappointing yourself”. This quote made so much sense to me and to hear it said aloud was exactly what I needed. After all, we only have ourselves at the end of each day and we are the one one who gets ourselves out of bed in the mornings so we should be the one’s we listen to, right?

In honouring other peoples needs, I thought that I would gain some sort of respect and love (and maybe I did a bit) but that respect and love was only external and didn’t fill my internal void. Even being bothered about upsetting someone else, I was still putting their needs above my own. What about my own upset? In respecting and honouring my own needs, even if that meant I was letting other people down or not living up to their expectations of me, it didn’t matter because I started to feel a deep level of fulfilment that only comes from being true to who I am, and that filled me up from the inside.

I have said no to long messy nights. I have told people that I no longer wish to hang out with them any more. This no longer feels like a big deal for me. When the day is over, I get into my bed at night, let that initial loneliness that comes with any sort of healing fade over me and snuggle further down into my duvet, take a deep sigh of relief and know that I am finally starting to listen to that little voice (which gets louder and stronger everyday i honour myself) inside of me that wants me to grow into a person who no longer seeks (much) outside validation, shuffles further down into her lonely bed at night and is at peace with that. 

Life really is too short to not start honouring your boundaries and living the exact way you please. 

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