When you form the word NO and let it pass your lips what does it feel like? Ick? Can’t do it? Guilt shower? Does your mouth even go like that? Since we obviously can’t very well go through life without the use of the word NO, let’s get to the bottom of this!
My first approach to anything in my life is to ask some questions—either out loud or in my journal.
- What kind of person am I when I say NO?
- What will others think of me if I say NO?
- What consequences will I suffer if I say NO?
Anything interesting come up for you there? Sometimes you let things rattle around in your brain for a few days and then all of a sudden—eureka! Major insight happens.
Now that we’ve delved a little deeper with the questions, we can move onto some psychological beliefs we may have about saying NO
- Do I identify as someone who doesn’t say NO? Who would I be if I started to say NO? At times our identity can be a real jail cell. If we live our lives confining ourselves within the bars we’ve created, we miss out on plenty of experiences. Life becomes a very small arena of circumstances.
- Does saying NO really mean that I’m a bad person or unworthy or undeserving in life? This may sound harsh but believe me the subconscious doesn’t pull any punches. Examine whether these beliefs resonate with you and just through this awareness you may find that the pull of their influence starts to lessen.
- Do I live my life with the belief that I’m someone who only says yes? Do I strive to be the good person or whatever label I’ve given myself? When we live by these rigid rules of conduct we can’t respond in the moment as our authentic selves.
What to do about it:
Find ways to connect with our authentic selves: when we are grounded and rooted in our True Self, our true identity, we don’t need outside validation or recognition. We are free to respond as we are. Meditate in the mornings or even in the shower with the intention of connecting to your inner core. Ask for guidance or support on how to stay with yourself throughout the day and especially if things get hairy.
- Celebrate yourself:
This is a way to validate yourself without the need for others and therefore without the need to please people by saying yes. Write down all the ways you are a good person—it could be very small things like you are kind to strangers and like to smile at others. You don’t really have to have a list of things that you do, it’s more like who are you on a regular basis? How do you greet the world in every moment? Celebrate that! You’re doing a great job.
- Write down all your fears around who you would be if you said no.
Bring the fears to the surface. Give them a voice. Let them have their say. Then say thank you for sharing. You will notice that these fears may not have the Vulcan grip they once had over you.
- Saying NO does not make you anything.
It is merely a way to show up in the world in any given moment. There is nothing shameful about being authentic and responding from your core. Say it with kindness and say it with me now: NO!