‘Saying no is a beautiful act of self-care’: Danielle LaPorte on how to stop overcommitting and start prioritizing your own needs

·3-min read

The Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! is about helping you stop unhealthy behaviors and start prioritizing your own self-care. Follow along with us as Danielle LaPorte shares how to change your outlook for the better and work on forming healthy habits every day this week. This is Day 1 of the 5-day Stop Doing It! challenge.

You’re not alone if you’ve found yourself saying yes to things — whether it’s for friends and family or at work — when taking on more is really the last thing you need. When you’re more focused on pleasing someone else rather than weighing the cost of saying yes in terms of your time and energy, it’s easy to become overloaded and overcommitted.

But all that is about to change. Today is Day 1 of the 5-day Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! in partnership with author and inspirational speaker Danielle LaPorte, who is a member of Oprah's Super Soul 100 and offers meditations on everything from love to healing and spirituality on Sounds True. The 5-day challenge is all about stopping behaviors that leave you feeling “overworked and overwhelmed” and starting to prioritize your own self-care so you can have “some peace and some happiness,” LaPorte tells Yahoo Life.

Stop overcommitting and take the Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! with Danielle LaPorte. (Photo: Anastasia Chomlack)
Stop overcommitting and take the Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! with Danielle LaPorte. (Photo: Anastasia Chomlack)

For the next five days, LaPorte will provide guidance and specific steps you can take to start changing the unhealthy habit of overcommitting, often in an effort to try to please others. “Being busy is actually not a badge of honor,” says LaPorte, who shares her wisdom with her 256,000 followers on Instagram. “It's a recipe for burnout. What happens to most of us is when we get where we thought we wanted to go, we're too tired to enjoy what we’ve got.”

When it comes to making these mindset changes, LaPorte says: “It’s not about what we start doing. It’s more about what we stop doing.”

For Day 1 of the challenge, LaPorte says, “We are going to declutter the habits and the negative inner talk that block us from health and happiness.” She encourages people to think about why we say yes to others when we really want to say no.

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“It's a really simple, primal reason,” explains LaPorte. “Most of us are obsessed with being liked — more specifically, obsessed with being disliked. So we say yes, when really inside, we want to bow out.” She adds: “You can love everyone, but you can't please everyone.”

LaPorte says the whole “profound” point is that “saying no is a beautiful act of self care.”

Here’s how to put saying no when you need to into practice: “When you feel compelled and pulled — we all know that inner rub — when you want to say no and you say yes, here's how you can very gracefully decline,” says LaPorte. “You can say, ‘It just doesn't feel right.’ And I can almost guarantee you most people are not going to argue with how you feel. You can say, ‘Maybe in the future.’ You can say, ‘The timing's not right for me. My plate is full and I'm really committed to taking care of myself.’”

The key is to practice the habit. As a result, LaPorte says that “the more you say no thank you when you really mean no thank you, the more that things will come into your life that you want to say a full hearted yes to. And guess what? You will inspire other people to do the same for themselves. “

Be sure to check back in tomorrow for Day 2 of the Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It!

For more great advice, check out Danielle LaPorte on Sounds True.

Video produced by Stacy Jackman.

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