Affirmations: Powerful Conversations with Ourselves (6)

TODAY: I will say ’no’ to a request if I am already overextended!

I understand that my time and energy are important resources to be respected and used wisely.


How many of you remember Karyn White’s soul ballad “Superwoman”? What may well have begun as a give-and-take situation eventually deteriorated until it was a one-way street. The woman in the song is forced to realize “I’m not your superwoman” , because she’s only giving and seldom receiving the positive energy and love from her partner that she needs.

We also have our needs that must be met; times when we need a shoulder to lean on or an open ear and heart. As long as our relationships are mutually empowering everything is fine. We feel free to give when and what we can, knowing we will also be on the receiving end when we need something.

Intimate relationships aren’t the only relationship where an imbalance can lead to problems. How many of us have suffered through friendships or work situations where – if we are perfectly honest with ourselves – we are giving far more than we are receiving? Maybe it’s hot-wired into our socialization, but especially (black!) women feel we have to be there for everyone:

  • partners who need our attention
  • girlfriends with relationship problems
  • co-workers unable to meet their own workloads

We sometimes forget, however, that when we allow other people’s needs to supersede our own – in other words, when we ignore the common sense of self-care – we quickly find our own physical energy running low, our emotions strained and our spirits flagging. This uneven burden compromises the basis of our relationships, as well as our own overall health.

What’s on your personal to-do list today?

How much space have you left for self-care? More importantly, what priority have you put on your “me time” – whether it’s an entire day or just 10 minutes?

  • Understand that you can – and should – say “no” when your plate is already full.
  • Accept that someone else’s priority need not be your own.
  • Realize that you don’t need to be a “superwoman” for anyone else.


Filed under Affirmations

4 responses to “Affirmations: Powerful Conversations with Ourselves (6)

  1. I used to be a team player and mentor to my coworkers. I will train new hires and sacrafice my time and energy. I notice that the ones I train will be on number while i am number 2 or 3 on the floor. They get all the recognition and praises and do not remember that I assisted them. So at that point I tried to camoflague my talent and be mediocre so people will not ask me for my asssitance and take advantage of what i know at work. I am learning how to say no. I feel at times people will cling onto me but i am not superwoman and i will not make promises that i cannot keep. I come first and put my needs first. I do not volunteer for anything anymore especially in a working an environment that i am not passionate about.

    • Trina

      I certainly hear about hesitancy to contribute to environments we’re not passionate about. This thought came to me spontaneously while reading your comment: How good/comfortable are you with self-promotion; i.e. do you let you be great? Sometimes we wait for others to recognize our contributions, and our feelings of pride are hurt when that doesn’t happen (to the extent we expect). Sometimes, though, we are expecting other to do what we should (primarily) be doing for ourselves.

      –> Are you documenting your training/ mentoring activities and making sure the right people have access to it?

      –> Do you make sure (re a quick confirmation mail – with the right people on cc) people in the organization are formally aware of the added value of the information and knowledge you share with them?

      In other words, putting yourself first means taking action when it comes to valuing the truly valuable professional resource you are!

  2. Renelda

    Lately, I have been tracking my performance but I am not motivated anymore. I really don’t belong there. Though it is sad, I am complacent. I am stuck in a rut and cannot break the cycle I am in. I am not progressing. I don’t know how to go about my ultimate goal. Confidence is a major issue. Many tell me that I am good at what I do, many like the way I speak and motivate people when they are having a bad day. Unfortunatley I do not know how to motivate myself.

    • Trina

      Renelda, I truly understand reaching that position of zero motivation within an organization! Been there, done that, as they say…

      Sometimes there is no reasonable way to change your existing situation. The only reasonable thing you can do is change situations! I know the current economic woes make it more difficult to successfully transition from one job to another or leap into self-employment, so make sure you have plans in place that will make that much-needed transition possible without unnecessarily threatening your overall economic stability.

      Because it may mean long- versus short- or mid-term planning, find a strategy complete with the necessary tactics and tools that will allow you to:

      — learn new skills and/or upgrade relevant skills you already have

      — form a strong support system for continuous encouragement and information

      — network effectively with people in your chosen area

      — pay attention to self-care rituals and practices that will center you, strengthen your motivation and boost your self-confidence.

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