Updated: Jan 8
This is a time of year that many of us are looking ahead and envisioning the life we really want, maybe it’s more time for family, writing that bestseller you’ve had running through your head, starting that product line or maybe opening your own salon. Whatever it is, it’s important to you. And that’s enough. But even without knowing what your dream is, I know that to bring that vision to life is going to take focus, intention, maybe some quiet time, some time to actually ‘do’ what needs to be done. And the ONLY way that will happen is if you learn how to say no.
Wow, Miki, that’s a big one. Yep it is. But there are only 24 hours in each day, 7 days in each week, and if you don’t take some of that time to make progress on your dreams, even baby steps, next year this time, you will be in the same place - wishing….
I get it. Life happens fast. I’ve done it myself. Before you know it, you walk away from a conversation and you’ve said yes to something you immediately knew that you didn’t want to do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment, to not want to want to offend or hurt the other person’s feelings, or to unconsciously slip into ‘people pleasing’ - where it just seems easier to go along, to get along.
But I want you to think for a minute, what is saying yes, when you really don’t mean it costing you? I can tell you in a quick nutshell, it’ costing you the ability to reach your dreams. You may not realize it, but each thing you agree to requires energy, whether it’s thinking about it, getting dressed for it and driving there, or taking time and thought to be prepared for it. That is energy (and focus) that you don’t have to put into your desires. So what’s the #1 way to make sure you don’t reach your goals this year? Keep saying yes when you really want to say no.
So how do you learn to say no? I’m glad you asked. But first let’s try to clear up some misconceptions about the word ‘no’ that may be keeping you in the unproductive habit of saying yes to everything. Click here to join me on Tuesday and learn more!
If I say no, they will think I’m mean. If you feel this way, consider saying this to yourself, being clear is not the same as being mean. When you have clarity on what you want and need to focus on, everyone else’s agenda has less meaning. You know what you need to do to reach your goals, and you have to say no, if you’re going to stay on track. And, this is a BIG one - you don’t owe anyone an explanation of why you are not able to say yes. I’ll share a few simple ways to respond below. Also, you don’t have to say no in a mean way. Just a clear, simple statement will do.
If I say no, they will think I don’t care. Maybe they will think that. Oooohhh, Miki, you want me to just not care? No, it’s not that you don’t care about what they want you to do, but, if you don’t care about what’s important to you, who will? In addition, you have absolutely no control over what people think of you. So many people will think many things about you in a lifetime. Some will matter to you, some things you can learn and grow from, but MANY people don’t really care about you. They just want you to do what they want you to do, because it benefits them. Often they are manipulative, and you may not even realize it. Keep your eyes open and really assess what’s going on and why they are asking you?
If I say no, they won’t like me. I could almost say ‘ditto’ to my answer in #2, but when we have a need to be liked by EVERYONE, that’s really our own issue, that we need to take a look at. That may be some of the personal growth we need to take ourselves to the next level. Ask yourself, “Who am I if this person doesn’t like me?” “What am I feeling?” and “What’s the worst thing that could happen if they don’t like me?” Wow, those are some deep questions. Years ago, during an especially low time, I listened to a course Rev. Joyce Meyers had. It was called, “Don’t Worry, This is Only a Test.” She spoke about 4 tests that we would need to pass to be able to become what we were called to become. The test that stands out, all these years later, is the ‘Security’ Test. She shared that your insecurity is something that others can use against you, often to get their own ‘selfish’ ways (that last part is my interpretation). When you know who you are, what you want, why you want it and who’s you are, it’s very hard to get you off your game. You will become more direct and may find yourself making more progress than ever and feeling peaceful for no real reason. That’s what security in yourself or in your ‘Self’ looks like. It’s worth digging deep into those 3 questions to get your own answers, examine them and see that your feelings don’t really have any power.
Now that we’ve got some of those misconceptions out of the way, here are a few ways to make saying no, just a little easier. Here are a few that have worked for me and others.