Learning to Say “No”

Saying no can be a challenge for many of us.  Lowself-esteem and self-confidencecan cause us to become constant people pleasers. This leaves us unable to say no to things we really don’t want to do in the name of not disappointing friends and family. Of courseit always starts off with the best intentions, but more often than we’d like to admit, we’re left with regret and sometimes even resentment.

Learning to say no can be challenging, but it can also been empowering.  To know that refusing to do something that you simply don’t feel inspired to do doesn’t mean the end of the world shifts everything.  You are not the only person in the world that is capable of doing someone a favour and in trying to do everything for everyone; you’ve left no time for yourself!  Once you are able to be true to yourself, and become aware of what you’re willing to do, you have more time to take care of yourself!

If you really think about it, you’ll be amazed at how much time we spend taking care of others, while completely forgetting to take care of ourselves!  Many of us may think that taking care of ourselves is a selfish thing to do, but it should be considered an act of self-preservation.  If this is a concept that you have a hard time believing this, remember what you’re told during the review of emergency procedures on a flight. The flight attendant always reminds us that: “should the oxygen masks descend, please secure your own mask before helping those in your care”.  This is an important thing to remember when our own self-care takes a back seat to the needs of others. If we don’t take care of ourselves, how will we ever be able to do our best in helping others? Taking care of ourselves isn’t selfish; it’s the only way to be of true service to others.

Don’t feel bad about saying no.  Maybe you’reworried that you’re going to disappoint someone you care about, or that they won’t feel the same way about you because you refused.  It’s important to understand that as long as your response is coming from a place of real love, it won’t affect the way the people in your life feel about you.  Once we know and truly believe that we are not responsible for anyone’s happiness but our own we give ourselves the freedom to live a more authentic life, more confident about ourselves and secure in all our relationships!

Doing things because we want people to like or love us rarely gives us what we’re looking for. Whether we want to admit it or not, we have expectations about how our acts of kindness should be received by others. When we don’t get the appreciation that we are looking for, we can feel like we’re being taken for granted. There’s nothing wrong with saying no when that’s what you feel is the right thing to do. Overextending ourselves doesn’t help us or the ones that we intended to do something for. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself and others is to simply say no.