Greatness begins with awareness.

How well do you say NO?

No under magnifying lensHow often do you say yes, when you really want to say no?  Do you respond with a list of reasons why something isn’t a good idea, when a simple no is what your gut says?

Learning when and how to say no is how we create healthy boundaries.

It sounds so simple, yet many of us find saying no a real challenge. Why is it so hard? Many of us are people pleasers and fear that if we say no to our family, friends, co-workers or clients, they won’t like us. We wonder if we say no this time, will we be asked again.  Will the client offer us work again? Do we even have the right to say no?

Sometimes we are driven by “shoulds” – what we believe is expected of us from others or our own expectations.  Acting on our “shoulds” can create tremendous stress when we feel a conflict with our internal feelings. Listen carefully to what you say. When you hear the word should; stop and ask yourself what you really want and examine your motivation.  Be honest with yourself. Act from that honest place.

I often give clients the homework assignment of “saying no with grace and without explanation.”   Begin small. Notice how you feel when you honor yourself as you experiment with honesty. At first, it may feel uncomfortable.  Don’t let that stop you. Clients often report they feel lighter as they become more comfortable with saying no, especially without a long explanation.


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