A lot of people identify as being bad at saying ‘no’.
Are you one of them?
Do you find yourself often doing things you don’t want to do because you’re worried about disappointing people?
Do you find yourself agreeing to take on tasks or catch up with a friend even though you are overwhelmed and need some time out?
Do you find a lot of your conversations are focussed around what you have to do? At home, at work, in life in general?
If you answered yes to one or all of these you fall somewhere on a spectrum that ranges from ‘saying no makes me feel uncomfortable’ to ‘I simply can’t say no.’
And not being able to say ‘no’ has ramifications that can range from spending a lot of time doing things you don’t really want to do and finding yourself getting resentful to actually making yourself physically unwell.
Here is the thing though….this is all an illusion. The truth of the matter is that you are much better at saying no than you realise.
The real issue is that you are someone who much prefers to say no to yourself than to others. Recognise how practised and mastered you are at saying no…to yourself. How often do you do it? Are many of your yes’ to others really a no to you?
If this is the case what you are really affirming is that other’s feelings are more valid and worthy than your own so although it’s OK to ‘hurt’ yourself you wouldn’t want someone else to feel hurt. Or are you worried that they won’t like you if you say no? Are you worried that it may be the end of the relationship or you will no longer be considered a nice person?
All of these reasons are problematic. With the one you are implying that another’s feelings are worth more than your own and with the other you are handing over your sense of self to someone and something outside yourself. Both will wreak havoc with your self-esteem and your experience of life.
Let’s flip this whole topic on its head and make it all about saying yes!
In all situations say yes to yourself.
Say ‘yes’ to respecting your needs and to what will help you create a physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial and social environment for you to thrive.
Now of course I recognise that we all have times when we do things we don’t necessarily want to do. At home, at work. It can feel like saying ‘yes’ to yourself is some fanciful notion while you parent and care take and spend whole chunks of your day putting others ahead of yourself. Here is a place to start…
Find where the 'yes' is in the bigger picture.
As you listen to your kids when you really want to be having some peace and quiet, your bigger yes is to building a loving relationship with your kids.
As you spend time at work when you really want to be home, your bigger yes is to paying your bills, moving ahead financially or in your career.
So where do you need a shift in perspective on yes and no?
Do you recognise that you are much better at saying no than you thought you were?
Where do you need to flip to a great big yes to yourself?