Good morning and happy Valentine’s Day! My weekend was a special one thanks Mr. Lively. And I hope you have a great day planned doing something you love.
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a tangible rise in attention and awareness about Jess LC and MML. It’s been a fantastic shift which has brought forth many positive opportunities. And I’m incredibly thankful.
But to be honest, I’ve recently been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the attention and sheer volume of requests via MML and Jess LC. The number of people reaching out for all sorts of things has reached a level where I’m no longer comfortable. Saying yes to every opportunity (though I’d like to), is not a responsible use of my time or resources. I know this objectively, rationally. I am only one person juggling a blog with a bustling business. We are only one small jewelry shop of a jewelry maker, a jewelry designer, and two interns. There is only so much that is possible.
But if I’m continuing to be honest, I am afraid that if I start saying no, setting policies, and boundaries people are going to be upset.
I’m really afraid people will be mad if I say “no.”
And the truth is that this fear of rejection, if allowed to continue, urges me to shrink from the light and fade away. If I stop trying to grow, I will not disappoint anyone because I can say yes to almost everything all the time. Staying small means saying yes is easy. Growing means “yes to everything” isn’t always feasible or healthy.
Though staying put in life would certainly be a safe choice, and absolve me from my fear of rejection, it would also avoid any chance of actually doing more good by growing the business and blog to help more people.
With these considerations in mind, I have been wrestling over the past few days with the idea of setting boundaries and policies to protect myself from burnout and the fear of disappointing people. When thinking back to the vision I have for my life, I see a lot of excitement, helping, and growing personally and professionally. But in order for this to happen, I need to recognize and foster my own well-being. Boundaries regarding requests will help me feel comfortable in my life to feel safe so that I can create and help people in ways that are most important to me personally.
At the end of my life, I will not be asking anyone else if I did the right thing or said yes to the right opportunities. I will ask myself if I enjoyed the decisions I made and helped others as best as I could. I am responsible for enjoying my life and fostering an environment that I love and has personal meaning.
Further, the people making requests and reaching out to me want to know that I am 100% committed to the decisions I make. They aren’t trying to bully me into things I do not feel comfortable with. They want me to enjoy my life as well. And though each specific request I get in and of itself is not usually large enough to make me feel overwhelmed, the volume of all requests has hit a point that isn’t possible to say yes to everything any longer. Plain and simple.
I think (or hope) that over time these new policies and boundaries will be easily adopted by myself and the people who reach out. Perhaps what is most enlightening about this realization is that when designing a life with intention it’s as important to say “no” as it is to say “yes.”
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