How often do you catch yourself wanting to say no but then when you open your mouth it comes out more like, “Let me just check my schedule.”
Or maybe it’s more like, I am not drinking tonight, I have a big thing in the morning – in your head… but then when someone asks if you want to stay for a drink it comes out like, “Ya I guess one won’t hurt!”
Sorry to say but that nagging feeling in your gut that wishes you would say NO and mean it, is your inner self, your true alignment and it is making you feel badly because you are not following your inner guidance. When you decide to go against your intuition it often feels like guilt. But trust me when I say that setting boundaries is a skill and just needs to be practiced like any other skill. You will feel better when you can say no and mean it. And your heart and mind will feel better knowing they are all in agreement.
Why set boundaries?
Because when you say yes to something or someone out of guilt you end up holding more negative emotion about it along the way. You feel resentment, and maybe even angry at the person for even asking. Like they should just KNOW how busy you are.
Or in the instance of drinking. You want to slow down, you have set rules for yourself but then you end up letting anyone talk you into having a drink knowing full well you won’t have “just one” and your day tomorrow will probably get messed up.
But who cares right? It’s just one day… it’s not that bad.
Except one day somehow turns into years and all of a sudden you are looking at the repeated lack of boundaries, and that you really have no idea what you actually want or what feels good.
The thing is, we are a “yes man” society and many of us are caught in the loop of not wanting to feel bad about saying no, so we do the thing we don’t really want to or don’t really have time for anyways. Because we can “make it work”…
Well one of the things I am learning is how to set boundaries. And how much BETTER I FEEL when I just sit in the discomfort of the moment and say firmly “NO THANK YOU”.
No, I’m sorry I can’t make time for that thing this week, but I would love to help you out in the future.
No, I won’t just go for one because I have a big thing tomorrow and it is important I am at my best.
Did you know that GROWTH is on the other side of discomfort?
So, in that moment of discomfort of setting a boundary that will make your life better just remember you are growing! And that is a GOOD THING.
Stop saying yes at your own expense.
Learn how to say yes because you WANT TO!
Still worried about how to actually make that work in your own life?
Here are 5 tips to help you through the NO and get you moving in alignment with your true self.
- Make it a complete non-issue. Do this by not wavering or over-explaining yourself. You don’t need to offer excuses or explanations for why you won’t or don’t want to do something.
No is a complete sentence.
- Be confident and stand proudly behind your choices and your priorities.
Knowing that you are being true to what you want and who you are.
- Say NO by saying yes to something else.
Saying no to alcohol can sound like – “Yes, I’d love a lemonade to drink.” Turning down a dessert can come out as “A coffee would really hit the spot!” And turning down a commitment of time can come out as – “Could I make a donation?” or “I’d love to share some contacts with you that might be able to help!”
- Don’t dwell on it.
“I really appreciate you thinking of me, but no thank you.” Direct the conversation away from you by asking about the person, the cause, or anything that reframes the conversation. You can ask more and be genuinely interested without feeling the need to break your boundaries.
- Be gentle while learning to set boundaries. This can sound like – “Let me think about it and get back to you.” or “No, but I would love you to keep me in mind if you need help in the future.”
Being gentle is with people around you as well as yourself. If you falter on your boundary setting just bring awareness to how it makes you feel and make it a priority to be more clear in your communication moving forward.
Remember that boundary setting is a learned skill and that in practicing this skill you may experience guilt or even push back from the other parties involved. Especially if they are used to being able to pressure you in a certain direction. But what comes with boundary setting is a profound connection to your inner wants and desires. It is a window into who you are and what is important to you.
We only have one precious life to live and saying no to things you don’t want to do allows you to say yes to yourself and make room for the things you really DO want to do.
It’s not always a lack of time that leaves us feeling out of sorts, but our inability to say “No thank you” when we honestly don’t have time or just plain don’t want to.
It’s time to let your NO be heard.
Now all that being said, I do want to quickly mention that setting boundaries in this way is more about finding your yes by allowing for your no to come through. I in no way want to encourage you to put up a perimeter around your being that discourages human connection. But being present with yourself and your internal wants and desires is going to lead you down a path to consciously choosing how you want to spend your time rather than being at the mercy of other peoples needs.
I hope this post is useful to you on your journey and please comment your thoughts or how you have reclaimed your power to thoughtfully and compassionately say no within your life.