It’s only by saying “No” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important ~ Steve Jobs

No…. a small word loaded with big guilt!

Why do we think No but burst out with “yes”?  Is it because we fear rejection, are afraid of disappointing others, appear to others to be selfish, or hurt their feelings?

Saying No does not make you a bad person

It stems back as far as early childhood when saying No to an adult labelled you as bad-mannered and selfish, which ultimately lead you to feel humiliated, guilty, and rejected.

As we grow into adulthood, we suddenly realise we have a choice, we know the difference between right and wrong.  However, far too often we revert to our basic wiring as a child and associate no with being perceived as unkind and rude.

Saying No is a form of setting boundaries.

Claim your value

“What other people think of you is not your business.  If you start to make that business your business, you will be offended for the rest of your life.” ~ Deepak Chopra

It is important to realise that you are valuable and that it is okay to choose your own opinion about yourself over others.  

Ask yourself… Is it really worth it?

You need to decide if saying yes is really worth it.  Being a crowd-pleaser and saying Yes when you should have said No, you start doubting your decision and you start to think of ways of getting out of your commitment.  It means that you either have to come clean or come up with (another) lie.  Personally, I believe that coming clean is the best option.  It proverbial “yanking off the plaster”. 

To avoid having to go back on your word, here are some tips that may help you say No easier:

Be direct but be polite

Use a phrase like “No, I can’t but thank you for asking.”  If you are polite, people will be polite in return.

Apologise but Never give lame excuses

No excuse is better than a lame excuse.  People can smell a lame excuse a mile away.  Don’t do it, it will come back to bite you.

Don’t lie

Lies have a sneaky way of getting out; don’t compromise your dignity.

Avoid feeling resentful

It is better to say No than to deal with guilt and self-resentfulness later.

Don’t create expectations

Don’t use phrases like “I’ll think about it” if you know that you really want to say No.  You are creating expectations and making it more difficult for you to say No later. 

Learning to say No helps you overcome your fear of rejection, empowering you and gives you control.