Secret 4: Learning to say ‘No’
This is the fourth post of a six part series about some truths behind the first 6 years of my cake journey. We hope you enjoyed reading it, be sure to comment and let us know. If you want to start at the beginning please head to the introduction, Let Me Tell You a Secret.
It’s amazing how a 2 letter word can be so easy to say out loud but at the same time so hard to say to someone.
Not going to lie… in the beginning I was the biggest people pleaser of all time. I desperately wanted people to like me, to think I was a nice person. As a result, I got walked on by a lot of clients, I got taken advantage of, and people took me for granted. Time after time, I would say yes to everything and reason with myself that it was because I should be grateful people were asking me, that it was for the exposure and that it was because I loved what I was doing.
The truth is… because I was so worried of letting other people down, I was sacrificing my own happiness and in turn letting myself suffer for the benefit of other people who either:
1. Could not care less that I had to stay up until 2am baking because of their last minute flavour change request.
2. Had no idea that their passing request for gluten free options at the cake tasting meant that I had to bake a whole cake just for their sample.
One day, while I was exhausted and asking myself why the heck I was doing this and seriously contemplating going back to the corporate life, I realised something. I was sacrificing all my time and bending over backwards for people I didn’t even know –when the people I did know like my friends and family didn’t even get to see me anymore. How ridiculous right? I was treating strangers far better than I was treating myself, my friends and my family. Think about that for a second… it really is insane!
I kept asking myself why? And I kept answering myself with ‘I don’t know’. Because, I really didn’t know anymore. I was tired of clients telling me I was too expensive and me reducing my price only to deliver the cake to a mansion or fancy venue. I was tired of being told that because I was not ‘famous’ enough that I had to charge less for my classes. I was tired of being asked to go to events on my own dime (paying for all my flights and accommodation) for the promise of ‘exposure’ and a shout out on social media. I was tired of people making me feel guilty by telling me they are not making any money from my classes but then asking me to squeeze in more students or to come back and teach time and time again. I was tired of it all and probably just pushed too far.
It was then, at my breaking point, when I decided I had enough. Everyone can either take what they are given or get stuffed. My metal and physical health and well-being was far more important. And I don’t care if they think that is being selfish because I know I am no good to anyone if I can’t function at my best. I really believe that in order to help or serve others, you need to serve yourself first.
So once I had that mental shift in my head – that looking out for me first is in fact not being selfish, I had no problem pushing back and saying no. Truthfully? Saying ‘no’ to things you don’t even want to do in the first place opens you up for way more opportunities.
Continue reading the next part in the series, Secret 5: The Myth of Endless Opportunities