If I had to guess, saying NO to people in your life doesn’t come naturally and for sure without some feelings of guilt. I know this to be true for me and I’ve been working on this skill for years.
(And if it does, then kuddos to you because I know that it took a lot of work to get to that place!)
With 3 kids in my house, under the age of 9, saying NO is used often in my life and not in the way most some people would assume. Lord knows if you have kids that word is used constantly in the hopes of bringing some discipline and order in the house. And if you don’t have kids or they’re older or you’re so used to putting restrictions on yourself you might catch yourself saying this often:
“No you can’t eat that”
“No you can’t do that”
“No you can’t look like that”
“No you don’t deserve that”
Sometimes saying NO to ourselves is our default when really saying yes would get us out of deprivation mode. Or when saying NO would be helpful to our sanity, waistlines or our health we have a hard time saying it. Funny how that works!
From experience these types of NO’s are a learned behavior. Something we learned from growing up and watching what our parents did, from dieting, depriving ourselves too much or from just being plain ol’ hard on ourselves with unreasonable expectations – yeah I’ve been there, done that.
Would you believe that AWARENESS is STEP 1 in the process of breaking the No cycle?
Would you believe my No’s look like this these days…
- “No I won’t wash those clothes right now because I have to sit down for 30 minutes.
- “No I won’t make dinner tonight cause momma needs a break and is going to order out”
- “No I won’t sign my kids up for one more after school activity because it’s too much driving and insanity for the whole family being out that much”
- “No I can’t attend that dinner party because I know I will be so wiped out by the end of the week I just need to be home and rest.”
Wanna have more NO’s in your life like me?
Great. Start with becoming aware of how many times in a week you say YES when you really want to be saying NO.
Then take your newfound awareness for a test drive. The next time something comes up, that deep in your gut you know will cause you to be overextended or throw you way out of balance JUST SAY NO and then wait and watch.
Let all the feelings associated with that NO come up….all of them. I always remind my clients that the only way through is OUT…so let them all out.
I can promise you that saying NO is just like a muscle you haven’t used in a long time. It just becomes flabby. But what happens after a few weeks of working out that muscle? It starts to shape up and before you know it, it becomes STRONG.
Same for your NO Muscle 🙂
Go ahead and try it out….and please let me know how it goes…I love hearing from you!