7 Reasons to Say No and Do It with Confidence
With endless work deadlines, social engagements, and family responsibilities, it can feel like we're in a constant battle with time.
Learning to say “NO” more often just might be the solution. Appreciating your need for some "me" time is one of the most fulfilling gifts you can give yourself and others. When we can simply pause, we restore, realign, and recalibrate.
Sometimes, we have to sacrifice pleasing others in order to find time to recharge. Here are 7 reasons to embrace the power of saying no and some tips for how to say it with kindness and confidence.
1. There's no "right" way to say no.
I understand that saying no is hard. We live in a culture that respects busyness, and “doing it all”. And you worry that if you say no, you’ll appear rude, create conflict, or burn a bridge.
But these perceptions are misconceptions. To get you started, here are a few scripts for how to begin saying “NO” with respect and authenticity:
“Now’s not a good time as I’m in the middle of something. How about we reconnect at X time?”
"Let me think about it first, and I’ll get back to you.”
“I’m not the best person to help on this. Why don’t you try X?”
“I can’t commit to this as I have other priorities at the moment.”
2. Your intuition is the greatest radar system you have.
Your gut feelings can help you figure out what you want long before you can actually express it. Tapping into your intuition will help you confidently articulate why you are choosing to say no, both to yourself and to the other person. Remember that some situations just aren't meant to be.
Try asking yourself this question: What is the best decision I can make in this moment? Then listen for the intuitive answer rather than a response your head is trying to push.
3. When we stretch ourselves thin, we're not helping anyone.
Especially when someone we love or admire needs help, we tend to say YES rather than being realistic about our time commitments. This typically leads to burnout, resentment, frustration, and doesn't help you or anyone else in the long-run. It takes courage to admit when you're uninterested, not willing, or simply want better. Keep the focus on authenticity rather than “likeability”.
4. You will never please everyone.
If there are people who will sever ties with you because you need to say no to something, let them go. You are not responsible for other people’s happiness. Your true friends, family and respected colleagues will understand. It's simply a fact that you will never be able to please everyone. So, fill your universe with those bright, supportive souls that will contribute to you leading a radiant life!
5. Practicing your “no” will help clarify your real desires.
You will reach a stage in your life where there are simply more pressing demands. Mortgages, children, aging parents, etc.
You simply won’t have the bandwidth to say yes, every time. Revisit your priorities and evaluate how this experience will benefit your life.
For example: What would you like to never ever have to do again? Grab a piece of paper and write it down. Then burn it in your kitchen sink. When you are clear about what you no longer want to invest your time in, it creates the space and permission to prioritize your desires.
6. Saying “no” gives other people the chance to shine.
When you remove from your plate what you don’t have time for or interest in doing, you give someone else the opportunity to use their strengths. This person may deeply want the opportunity and will be grateful for a chance to shine. How’s that for a win-win situation?
7. Boundary-setting is a practice in mindfulness.
While being a "yes” person can be wonderful at times, it won’t lend itself to allowing yourself to just be.
Think of saying no as a practice, an exercise in mindfulness. You might feel a little guilty at first, but if you acknowledge that feeling, address the other person with respect, let it go and move on, you will be more aware of the wise and loving power of NO.
Living with more confidence starts with drawing our worth from deep within rather than letting the world decide for us. We lead from our intuitive heart, know who we are and live our lives congruent with that truth
Dr. Danielle Dowling is a Doctor of Psychology, life coach and speaker who helps women release limitations and re-introduces them to the dreams they’d forgotten or put on the shelf. She offers a complimentary discovery call here.
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