5 Ways to say NO

1. Practice

This may seem weird or even sad that anyone has to practice saying no, but it really is more difficult to do for some people. If you are like me, I have a hard time saying no, and an even harder time saying no without a reason or an excuse. Until recently, I did not even think that was a possibility. I could actually say no and not have to explain myself? No way. Well, it is possible. And when I started to learn to say no, my life changed for the better. Having anxiety, trauma in my life, and many other obstacles and experiences, no was not an option without negative consequences. When I would say no, the person gave me a guilt trip or looked at me with controlling eyes. I did not realize that, from a young age, I was being trained to always say yes. Before I knew it, I was filled with guilt, anxiety, and anger. As I began to peel back the layers of my experiences, I realized that I never really stood up for myself. I would begin to do so, but I always backed down. I realized I needed to learn to say no. So, like anything, I practiced. I would say no in the mirror, in the car, etc. I would just say the word aloud. I felt guilty and anxious even though I wasn’t actually saying no to anything. It is crazy how strong and powerful our mind is, and also, how resilient and full of change it can be at the same time. So, try it. Start small, and train yourself and your brain to put your best interest first and foremost! 😊

2. Start Small

Once you have practiced saying no, it is time to start small. We have been feeling guilty about saying no for so long that it will not be easy. For me, I practiced at a restaurant. When they ask if you want something on the side or any dessert, I said NO. Well, I didn’t yell it, but I simply said no. I can’t tell you how many times I have ordered dessert that I didn’t want and didn’t end up eating. I also do the same thing when I go grocery shopping, the coffee shop, etc. I even practice with friends and family, which is very difficult. But I have learned to practice with the more compassionate and respectful ones. Yes, I know that they all should be as they are family and friends, but that’s not the case (I am working on it though!) You will start to see that you feel less guilty, and that you are more decisive and excited about your decisions! 😊

3. Come from a Place of Yes

Ok, I know this sounds very hypocritical and unlike what I have been preaching. But hear me out. Some people do not want to say no as it is a negative perspective on a situation or an experience. It does not mean that they are not saying no, but they are saying it with a more positive mindset. I have heard it referred to as a place of yes. I think this is great for some people. For me personally, I would probably start going back to saying yes even when I do not want too. I think at some point I would love to be able to get to this level. I also believe that some of you probably do not have a problem saying no, especially with certain aspects of life. This may be a great option for you. Regardless, any way you say it, you are making the decision based on your wants and needs, and that is amazing! 😊

4. Drop the “Why”

A lot of times I say no, I feel like I have to explain why. I follow up the no with because of so and so. And I am not sure if you guys experience this, but I will say no and the person will say explain. I used to just explain, and it made me feel very uncomfortable. I would either say too little or too much. It started to sound like I was making up an excuse. It didn’t feel right in my gut. I started to realize that I don’t owe anyone an explanation, especially to someone who demands it. If I want to explain it, then that is my choice, and I will do so. If not, too damn bad! 😊

5. Own it

If and when you get to this step, Congratulations! It is a Huge accomplishment. It is so freeing and beyond amazing. Now, I have a confession. I am not quite there yet in all aspects of saying no. However, I am well on my way! It takes time, persistence, and patience. I keep growing, learning, and putting my health and happiness first. This may not be a big deal to some, but it is a huge deal for me. I have spent decades in a place and cycle of anxiety, guilt, sadness, and loneliness. But not anymore! I am freeing myself, and as I am doing so, I am seeing life in a whole new light and perspective. If I could start this journey, and find it within to continue, so can you. You are worth it, and you deserve it all. Now, get after my fellow warriors! 😊

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