So often I find myself saying yes and then being frustrated soon after. Why did I say yes, when I knew I didn’t want to? No matter what the reason, I can honestly say I’m a sucker for saying yes. Here I am thinking “no, no, no, no” and then all of a sudden I hear myself say “yes.” I don’t know why it’s so difficult for my words to match my thoughts. When I think back on the reasons I said yes it’s usually to please others and protect myself from rejection. I’m so afraid of getting a negative response if I say no that I take on too much and ultimately end up struggling to get it done. It tires me out and I end up not being my best self. So I started looking for how to empower myself to be true to how I feel, and stick to my values. Here are some ideas that I’m finding helpful.
Giving myself permissionThe first thing I found is that I had to address my feelings. And here is a fact I didn’t believe. Saying no does not make me a bad person. It doesn’t mean I care any less, that I’m unkind or even selfish. So, why did I feel that way? Looking at where I learned this behavior and challenging the belief and deciding to let it go. For me I was raised to be polite and respectful. If I was asked to do something or help it was expected that I did it. Now that I have enough experience and the added responsibility of being an adult it’s time to trust myself. Second, I had someone in my life who only valued what I did for them. Not me personally. This inevitability turned to me finding my personal value on their acceptance. The ironic part is no matter what I did it was never enough. This was hard to let go of, in fact some days I find myself right there again by applying their way of accepting me to others. So it’s hard work, but it’s one of the best things I’ve done for myself.
Finding my valueThe next was to admit to myself that I am valueable. To choose to stay true to how I feel was actually creating internal belief and supporting my health and happiness. Here’s a few things that help me remember my worth:
- Telling my truth shoes integrity and strength
- Mistakes do not change who I am or my value
- The opinion of others do not change my value
- How I treat others, and myself says more about me than what I’m capable of
What is the real cost?When I so say yes anyway there are so many costs. I feel bad about myself, I add stress to my life, I loose sleep and so much more. At this point I have to choose, do it anyway, make up an excuse or lie, or tell the truth. Either way this adds to my frustration and negative self talk.
So… Here are some tips for saying No
- Be honest and direct. Don’t leave it unclear.
- Don’t suggest you’ll think about it if you know you don’t want to while knowing this is an option if you do need time. If they can’t provide time it’s okay to say no.
- Don’t apologize.
- Don’t make up excuses or lie, this just leads to guilt.
- Be nice, thank them for asking or offering.
- Value your time
- Practice makes perfect