25 Mar Just say no
Sometimes in life, the hardest word to say is no, especially if you’re a people pleaser, like me.
We find ourselves continually saying yes to everything. We say yes to all the wrong things. Then we start resenting ourselves for saying yes and resenting the people who are asking things of us, and what happens?
Our self-esteem gets damaged.
We start to feel worse about ourselves which can damage our self-confidence and, of course, as our self-esteem and self-confidence start to wane, we’re much less likely to put boundaries in place, we keep on being agreeable and the situation perpetuates.
The solution is to start saying no.
You need to know where your boundaries are, what it is that you want out of life and what you are and are not going to do. What are the things that will make you feel better about yourself and progress your life? And what are the things that make you feel worse about yourself, distracting you and taking you away from what it is you’re trying to create in life?
You have to start saying no.
But here’s the thing, if you’re not used to saying no, it can be one of the hardest words in the world to say. There are so many reasons why you might not say no, so have a think for yourself. Is it just a bad habit of saying yes to everyone? Is it something you learnt as a child? Is saying yes your way of pleasing people and hoping they will like you? Or are you just trying to avoid saying no because you think people may judge you or think negatively about you?
Whatever your reasons are for not saying no, it will be damaging how you feel about yourself and your impact and performance in your life, in your business and in your work. It’ll also be affecting your relationships.
We need a really firm, strong no in life in order to feel good about ourselves, but also so that we can start to create the success and the life that we want for ourselves. Here’s a true story.
I was working with a guy and he’d never said no. He was a total people-pleaser and really starting to resent himself and other people. He started to feel they were putting on him. Of course, that wasn’t the case, he just hadn’t drawn his boundaries well. He didn’t exert them, so people were just walking through.
We started working on how he could start saying no. If you’ve never said no in life, you’ve not learnt to have a sophisticated scale of how to say no. So, for example, there’s a really firm ‘no means no’ at one end of the scale, and a really pleasant, agreeable, ‘I’m really sorry but I can’t’, at the other.
If you’ve not learnt to say no, you’re not going to be an expert at it. My client got to a point where he could acknowledge where his boundaries were. He set his own goals, knew what he wanted out of life, knew how he wanted to feel, what it was he wanted to say yes to and what he wanted to say no to.
Previously, for example, if he was saving a chair for a friend and someone came and asked if it was free, he would say yes, beat himself up about it, give his own chair to his friend and end up sitting on the floor.
But on this one occasion, after we’d been working together for some time, someone came up to him and asked to take the chair. He turned around and he said no. But because he didn’t have his sophisticated no yet, he turned around and just went NO! way too aggressively, given the set of circumstances. I had to point out to him that he didn’t have a sophisticated no system because, of course, he’d never learnt to say no. I told him he should feel really good that he had set boundaries and exerted them. I also helped him understand that the more we say no, the better we get at developing the skills to say no in all the right ways, under different circumstances and conditions.
Here’s the thing. When you say yes to everything, it can knock your self-esteem and your self-confidence. The lower your self-confidence and your self-esteem, the less likely you are to exert yourself in the world or say no to people or things.
When you start saying no to all the right things, you’ll feel better about yourself and better about what you’re doing. Your confidence will start to rise, enabling you to exert yourself and your boundaries and to start saying no to people. The more you do that, the better you’re going to feel.
This is one of the reasons we run the 28-Day Self-Esteem Reboot Challenge. It’s completely free of charge and run in a Facebook group. In February, we had 300 people going through this all together. There’s a huge power in doing this kind of process as a group. It’s 28 days of content, little bite-sized snippets to keep moving you along, boosting your confidence and your self-esteem, so you can start to get your life back on your terms and hold yourself to your agenda instead of everybody else’s.
We had amazing results in February. We’re looking for even better results when we run this in April. If you acknowledge that saying no is hard, I’m telling you that one of the core reasons for that is low self-esteem and self-confidence levels. We want to reboot and boost them.
Get yourself onto the program. A large part of what we’ll be doing is developing these boundaries and our ability to say no. We’re doing it together, in a team environment. I’ll be with you every step of the way. Just say no.
Reboot your self-esteem
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