It’s easy to say no, but do you feel good about it when you do? Join me as I share Snippets From My Soul navigating towards a better you!
Women are socialized from a young age to make others feel good to the sacrifice of ourselves. We’re taught to “let people down easy”. We’re not taught how to say a clear and direct “NO”. As wives and mothers we are constantly being pulled to do things for others, so many times it can feel hard to say “no”.
NO is something we have to learn but NO is also something we also have to earn.
In my creative business I have a passion for creating for people. I’ve been creating for many years and a few years into my business, I started to suffer from an overwhelming sense of burnout and resentment. Resentment towards myself that I wasn’t able to provide what I wanted to for my customers. And also resentment that I was beginning to let my customers down when I couldn’t meet deadlines because I took on too much. What I’ve learned….
Did you read through the lines there – sometimes a “no” can simply be rephrased to a “not right now”. If you are honest with where you are with all of your other commitments, two things will happen. The person requesting will respect the load that you have and graciously accept your “no” – or they will be completely OK with you taking on their request when it is convenient for you.
I’m telling you – saying no THE RIGHT WAY makes you feel so much better!! I thought for sure that the more clients and orders I took on, the more $ I would make, and the happier I would be because I was doing what I loved….creating!
WRONG! None of us is superwoman (in the sense that we know it) even if we like to think we are.
I’d much rather be the following definition of Superwoman:
So how do you can you graciously learn to say NO and feel good about it?
- KNOW WHAT YOUR COMMITMENTS ARE – Once you’ve worked through this series you will have a clear understanding of what those commitments are and where they fit into your schedule. You will be able to feel confident in saying “NO” when you are confident in what you believe!
- GIVE OPTIONS – Maybe “no” isn’t the best option. Maybe it is something you want to do for someone or you are the best person for the job. Once you know that you want to do what’s been asked of you – set a time frame. Example: “I’d love to help you with that but I can’t give it my full attention until next week.”
- LET GO OF THE EMOTIONS ATTACHED TO IT – it’s crucial to understand that the real reason we struggle to say “no” has little to do with the words we use, but rather our emotional response and the sense of vulnerability that comes with having to communicate that message. For example – in my business, I was worried to tell people “no” in the beginning because I didn’t want to lose them as a customer. I didn’t want them to look at me and think I couldn’t complete their projects because I didn’t have the time. Besides, customer service is all about making the customer happy! Well, the opposite happened. With the few people I did tell “no”; they’ve remained faithful customers. The ones I was afraid to lose and took on too much – I lost them because I overcommitted myself and made promises that I couldn’t fulfill. I needed to let go of the emotional attachment I had to them in the beginning.
You have to learn to say no without feeling guilty.
Setting boundaries is healthy and crucial.
Know your limits to your time, energy and interests.
Questions to journal about:
- Was there a time that you said “YES” and should have said “NO”? What was the negative outcome of that and how did it affect you or the other person?
- Where are some areas of your life where you feel overwhelmed, resentment and burnout? How can you let go of some of the “yes’s” that you are committing to? Maybe it’s not being involved in as many mother/child playdates, church activities or sports commitments with your kids. Maybe it’s only because you need to start savoring some “me” time.
- How often do you find yourself saying “yes” when you would rather say “no”? Consider why you do that.
- How might your life feel different if you started living life consciously and purposefully instead of reacting to everyone else?
It’s time for you to learn to say now and feel good about it!
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear some of them in the comments.