If you’re anything like my Vitality ladies, you may have a hard time saying “no” when people ask you to do something for them. Many of the women I work with love helping others, so much so that their dreams and desires often take a backseat. Helping others is great, but can lead to resentment over the long-term if you aren’t creating time for your own desires. Here are four ways to make saying “no” easier so you have time for the goals of your soul:
Tip #1: Get clear on your priorities – If you are unsure or unclear about what you want to create in your life, it’s really hard to get motivated enough to say “no” to others. This is because you don’t have a vision that’s pulling you in a different direction and giving you an incentive to say “no”. By getting clear on your priorities, you’re more easily able to say “no” because you know what you are saying “yes” to instead. Many of the women I work with constantly consider other people’s priorities before their own, which can lead to them being taken for granted and not being appreciated. When you honor your own priorities, other people have more respect for your time because you respect it. If you would like help with creating priorities and honoring your tme, you can schedule some 1:1 time with me and we can work on it here!
Tip #2: Make it a habit to say, “let me check my schedule and then get back to you” instead of “yes” immediately – I know from experience how horrible it feels to let people down by saying “no” (especially if you’re an empath). In the past, I would find myself saying “yes” and then kicking myself later as a reviewed in my mind all the reasons why I should have said “no”. When you program yourself to say that you need to check your schedule before you commit to anything, you are giving yourself the opportunity to review the choices you have and weigh them against your priorities. This helps you make a decision that you won’t regret later.
Tip #3: Give yourself permission to change your mind – This one was a big one for me, as I used to feel like I had to honor my commitments no matter what (even if it meant severely stressing myself out). If you say “yes” to something you later realize wasn’t a good idea, give yourself permission to go back and say “no”. Say something honest like, “I’m so sorry, Sally, last week when I said I’d help you out with little Bobby’s soccer practices, I wanted to so badly that I said ‘yes’ without checking my [family’s] schedule. Unfortunately, when I actually checked it was clear that I wouldn’t be able to show up in the way that I should. I really wanted to make it work, but it doesn’t look like I can. I’m so sorry!” It will feel so flakey the first few times you do it, but the rewards of not feeling resentful and freeing up your time for what matters to you is so worth it. It’ll also serve as an incentive to really get #2 down (making it a habit to say “let me check my schedule” instead of instantly committing).
Tip #4: Commit to not caving to the people who try to guilt/manipulate you into saying “yes” – One of my favorite rules/boundaries I created for myself a few years ago was that if anyone tried to use guilt or manipulation to get me to do something, the answer was an automatic “no”. It was so liberating! Especially because my family’s primary way of asking me to do something used to be through guilt and manipulation. In the past, if I said “no” to my family (especially my parents), an automatic guilt-trip was guaranteed to ensue. When I created this boundary, my parents learned they had to ask for things without guilt-tripping me (though it did take a couple years). The boundary was so freeing to me because it made saying “no” to the guilt (what used to be my weakness) so much easier. Now, I don’t have time for anyone who is going to shame me into doing something. It’s an automatic “no” if I perceive them to be doing so. No use in rewarding people who don’t respect me, am I right?
Now over to you…do you have a hard time saying “no” to demands of your time? What tools do you have that make saying “no” easier? I’d love for you to drop a comment below and let me know :)