How often do you say NO? What do you say NO to? Who do you say NO to? Is it always YOURSELF that you are saying NO to? How did you learn it was okay to say NO? Is NO a complete sentence for you or do you feel the need to have a reason or justification for it?
When we struggle with our weight, NO can be one of the hardest words in the English language for us to say. Believe it or not, we are often the “people pleasers” of the world, the ones who want to make everything okay for everyone else and we will often never use the dreaded two letter word, unless it is for ourselves.
Does that sound familiar at all?
No is complicated….when we say no, we might not be liked. When we say no, people may question us. When we say no, we may feel like we are obligated to give a justification or reason for saying no. But guess what? None of that is true! Where did we learn it and why are we doing it?
Often, other people teach us how THEY wanted to be treated, but we didn’t stand firm in how WE expect to be treated. We may not have any boundaries, we may feel too guilty so it’s easier to just say yes or we may just oblige them to avoid a hassle or fight. Leaving ourselves last on the list and in the lurch.
Here are three ways the power of NO can been seen in our lives:
“You feel guilty for saying NO.”
Whether you are choosing not to have a piece of your Grandma’s famous apple pie or your telling your best friend that you don’t want to go somewhere with them, you don’t have to feel guilty. You are allowed to say no without having any reason, just like any other person is afforded the same right too. If you are worried about being impolite or feeling rude, you can say no with a gentle touch. “Grandma, you are the best baker and I love your pie! Thank you for offering, but no thank you.” To your best friend, “I would have loved to go, but I can’t make it.” You don’t have to feel guilt and you don’t have to have justification. Remember, NO is a complete sentence.
“If the other person is not accepting NO as an answer, you may need to re-evaluate your boundaries with this person.”
Sometimes, we have taught our friends, family and loved ones over the years that NO is something they will never hear from our mouths. We have trained them to expect this from us. So, when we try to say NO for the first time, people may not believe us. Or, they may not accept this answer from us because they feel entitled to us and our agreeance with whatever they ask of us.
It may be difficult at first, but sometimes we have to establish new boundaries and uphold them. If someone cannot accept this, it’s not something we have to fix, but something they will need to get re-acclimated to. We have changed ourselves, and they may not be expecting that. Sometimes people are very uncomfortable when WE change. That’s okay. Just because there is a bump in the road, doesn’t mean it will always be there. Change takes time and being able to say NO when you would always say yes, takes time as well. Set those boundaries and uphold them.
“If you can’t say NO, even when you really want to – It’s time to dig deeper.”
If you want to say No to something but cannot make that happen and are resisting, listen to that resistance. What are you fighting against? Are you longing to be liked? Is there a self-confidence issue that has been built up over time? Do you rely on others for your own self-worth and self-esteem? What is stopping you and preventing you from being who you really are? This may be where a counselor, coach or therapist may be of use, as well as journaling. Understanding the deeper reluctance behind this action will eventually help you to move forward.
And, sometimes…we have to slow down to speed up!
Whether you are saying NO to chocolate cake, your husband, your kids, your mom or your boss, what’s the hardest part of saying NO for you? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts!