The Art of Saying No

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“You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no” dk

Is it difficult for you to say no – to your kids, your friends, your boss? How often do say yes, when deep down you want to shout NO? I know for me and many of my clients, this topic is extremely difficult. We have built a strong habit around people pleasing and that includes honoring someone else’s wishes above our own. In fact, we are so used to it, that it can feel like we don’t even having the option of saying no.

I know sometimes we say yes and end up feeling good that we did whatever it was. However, why are we allowing others to dictate and choose what’s best for us? And what’s really the big deal in saying, “no, I can’t do that today or no it’s not ok to treat me that way?”

Well, in my experience there is a lot more to this then just words. Having a strong desire to be good + nice is at the heart and deeper than that, I have personally found that it has to do with being loved +accepted by others. We all desire this belonging and there can be a deep rooted fear even though – it’s totally unreasonable to – feel like we might lose someone else’s love.

Will they still accept us? Will I be judged? Will I hurt or anger them? Am I being “unloving” by saying no?

This year, I have been reflecting a lot on love and have learned that love doesn’t always have a set definition. Love is the most powerful force on earth; it can’t be simplified to a basic yes or no. It can’t be shaped the ego.

Why are we so quick to define what’s right and what’s wrong? If your friend wanted to drive home drunk, I’m guessing it would be pretty easy for you to say no and you wouldn’t feel selfish. It would clearly be an act of love.

SAYING NO TO SOMEONE IS JUST AS LOVING AS SAYING YES – Creating boundaries, disciplining children and putting your needs first is not mean or selfish – IT IS AN ACT OF LOVE!

Let’s shift our perspective and definition of both love and saying no. Here’s a game plan to use:

  1. Notice if you are the type of person that always says yes and has a hard time saying no.
  2. Take a moment to journal around how this feels to you and how long you’ve struggled with it?
  3. Make a conscious choice to change this habit by widening your definition of love and goodness.
  4. Practice saying no even if it’s not something big – feel the discomfort and realize that it’s not because you are doing something “bad” but are doing something different.
  5. Celebrate yourself because saying no is an act of courage + love!

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Love + Light,

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