Why is saying “no” so bloody hard? These days I say it a thousand times a day as my son Leo is 3 and so there are many opportunities to say the word 😉 However, it used to be bloody hard and in fact I would say “yes” when in my heart I wanted to say “no”.
Like the time I said “YES” to a friend moving into my flat when my inner voice was saying “NO!” or the time said “YES” to a client but my heart was saying “NO” or the time I said “YES” to getting married when in my heart I wanted to say “NO”.
Yeah I know right!? When you say yes to something you are always saying no to something else!
Over past 5 years I have worked with 100s of women and I have seen that this is something we especially find hard. Why? Because we have been educated to say “YES” as saying “NO” is impolite!??
However to say NO when it’s your truth is a key ingredient to creating more time for yourself and the boundaries you need to up your quality of life!
So today I thought I would share 3 key insights about how valuable saying no is when it’s your truth.
INSIGHT 1 – You cannot offend someone with a NO!
If you are not saying no because you are scared of offending someone then don’t worry as you are not responsible for their experience! They are. Just as no-one can make you feel anything, the same is true for them. Now that doesn’t mean you need to be rude, it just means you are free to say no, if that is what is in your heart.
Let me give you an example, I wrote a blog years ago when Robin Williams died and sent it to my tribe. Some people came back really upset with me saying it was in really bad taste and others came back saying it was one of the best blogs I had ever written.
What I got to see is that the blog was neutral and that regardless of what I wrote that everyone had their own story about the blog. They were hearing their own story. But that had nothing to do with me – as it won’t when you say no!
INSIGHT 2 – People respect the NO!
You will be surprised what happens when you say no! People actually respect nos! I don’t know about you, but I would much rather someone tell me where they stand than have them not speak their truth. It also gives others permission to say no too!
We set the precedent of how people treat us and how we want to run our lives so if keep saying yes, then others will assume it’s a yes all the time! And then you might wonder why they see you as a push over?!
For example, about 6 months ago I had a client ask for a 50% refund. As I evaluated her reasons I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t as I had delivered on the agreement. As I wrote the email I was literally peeing myself with worry of how she would respond. I didn’t sleep very well the following evenings, as I was worried about her response. However when she came back to me she agreed and didn’t kick up a fuss like I thought she would.
INSIGHT 3 – Your NO can be a vital lesson for someone else
Having been brought up in the English culture where you really need to be polite what I have come to see is that saying yes doesn’t necessarily help the other person you are saying yes to. If there is a no in your heart remember this, you may well be helping the other person grow up!
For example, the time I said “NO” to the friend who wanted to stay in my flat but couldn’t pay. I said yes many times to her out of fear I would lose the friendship when one day I realised that I was compromising my own wellbeing for hers. That day I told her I would need to start the eviction process. As it turns out, that experience for her, however hard it seemed at the time was the catalyst for her to sort out her finances, and start up a new business that is now quite successful.
So you never know how your no can help someone else to get the lesson they need to grow and change their life. But one thing is for sure you need to say no when it compromises your own health and state of mind.
In short, NOs are not BAD! In fact they are beneficial to you, your time and your wellbeing if they are in your heart.
Why not give NO a go today?! Is there someone or something you need to say no but have been putting off? If so, go do it NOW! I promise that if you do this, you will thank yourself in years to come.
To your increasing effortlessness and freedom