Do you ever find it hard to say no, even when you really want to? Whether it’s with friends, family, relationships or business, most people find it hard to say no in certain situations. Is it because you’re afraid people will think you’re selfish?
Afraid to let others down?
Do you feel guilty?
Have a fear of not being liked?
Strength lies in the ability to say no to things that will drain us, not serve us, or that we just don’t want to do. We think we’re being strong by always giving, giving, giving, but the truth is it wears us out. It makes us feel like crap. And in the end, no one is really happy (even the person you were initially trying to please).
So how can you start saying no, even if you don’t feel strong enough?
First, you have to know your values. Who and what is most important in your life? Your job, family, friends, religion, finances? When you’re asked to do something, do a gut check. If you automatically feel uneasy about it, check in and see what’s most important. If doing what this other person wants takes away from your top core values, don’t do it.
I know it seems easier said than done, so the key here is to practice. I call this “The Day of No” and I do it with all my clients. Pick a day and commit. On that day, I want you to say no to every situation you would normally say yes to. I don’t care what it is. You don’t have to do it in a mean or bitchy way, just politely decline.
Do this for 24 hours and see how it feels. It will be uncomfortable and uneasy at first, but all great changes are.
We’re going to build up your inner muscles and start to become more assertive about what you want in relationships and in life. It’s not enough to think you want to change. You have to actually start doing it.
Too often we neglect our own wants and needs because we’re busy giving and people pleasing. It’s time to start putting yourself first, and it doesn’t mean you have to be selfish. Just say no your way, stop compromising on the important things and you will feel the weight lift from your shoulders.
I want to hear from you in the comments below. Who or what have you been saying yes to when you wanted to say no? Why do you do it? And how do you plan on turning things around?