Reclaiming the Power of No
Updated: May 13, 2020
“Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.” ― Stephanie Lahart
The above quote is a hard one to follow. Often times we can get caught up in a people pleasing cycle or we don't want to disappoint those around us. I've been there, and to be honest still often struggle at times to say no. However, I've realised that there is power in "NO". By choosing to say "no", we are choosing the kind of life we want. I'm not saying yes isn't a choice as well, but I am saying that a meaningful no is powerful. You don't have to feel guilty for it and you should use it when you need too.
So how do you reclaim the power of no?
1: Practice saying it. I know it might seem silly but if you don't start using it, you never well. Start with some easy things to say no to gradually get comfortable using the words. You can even stand in front of a mirror and practice!
2: Set your boundaries. Sometimes we struggle to say no because we don't fully understand our own boundaries and the types of relationships we have. We may feel obligations to others when we shouldn't and may spend too much time worrying about boundaries, or offending others. Know where you stand and how you feel. Set those boundaries and use your "no" to protect them. Stand firm in your choice to say no.
3: Give yourself permission to say no. You have a right to say no, and you can. Allow yourself the ability to say no and use it well. This will give you time to spend time doing the things you enjoy!
4: Avoid automatically saying yes. You may have a tendency to automatically say yes to whatever is asked of you. Instead of doing this, ask for some time to think about it. This allows you to assess if you have the time, helps you keep your boundaries and decide if what you're being asked is something you want to do.
5: Avoid rethinking your answer. If you're an overthinker like I am, you may start second guessing yourself. It's important to hold firm in your no. Think about why you said no and how it made you feel. Then focus on moving forward.
I hope these things will help you say no in your life. Let me know how it works for you and let's all remember the power we have when we say "no".