A few weeks ago I read the following passage from Oriah Mountain Dreamer:
"Sometimes, saying a soul-felt "Yes!" to life, to making the choice to be fully alive, present in your life, body and heart is about knowing where to say, "No." This isn't always as easy or as clear as it sounds. Often life-draining beliefs, behaviour, roles and responsibilities were learned so young that they don't feel like a choice - they feel like just what is. Challenging this "reality" with new choices can stir up shame and anxiety. To keep making the choice for life, to keep saying "Yes!" to who and what we are and to what serves life requires great courage and a willingness to keep breathing and walking more deeply into our own lives".
And it was exactly what I needed to read at the time. I thought to myself that looking after ourselves is so important, because if we don't, it's hard to look after others in a healthy way because we'll feel resentful and will most probably be "helping" for the wrong reasons. Oftentimes saying No to others is saying Yes, a big Yes, to ourselves. It's a bit like when you're on a plane and the steward tells you to put on your own oxygen mask before you put it on your child for example, it might sound counter intuitive, but if you can't breathe, how will you take care of who you need to take care of?
Here are some statements that you could say out loud and tap on if they resonate, watch out for any tailenders (objections):
It is good to look after myself
I am selfish if I look after myself
It is good to put myself first (you can add qualifiers like "sometimes", "once in a while" and see if they feel more comfortable)
It is selfish to put myself first
It is okay to say no to others
It is okay to say yes to myself (even if that means saying no to others)