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November 28, 2016

Learn the liberating art of saying 'no' – without the guilt

Do you find yourself constantly doing things you don’t want to do for others?

Do you notice yourself acting negative or resentful while doing these things?

Perhaps you feel that your own happiness is being sacrificed as a result.

If this sounds familiar to you, it is time to hone the most powerful skill in your self-care toolbox, the power to say ‘no.’

Saying no is liberating. It doesn’t mean that you are negative or unlikable. It means that you are in tune with your wants and needs, and prepared to draw boundaries that preserve your state of physical and mental wellness.

That is not to say that saying no all the time is the right thing to do. But harnessing the power to pick and choose when you say no, without guilt, is the most liberating act of all.

Below are the five things that you need to remind yourself when you are in a situation where you want to say ‘no’ but feel like you have to say ‘yes’:

Forget What Other People Think

Many people have problems saying no to things for fear that people will not like them if they do not say yes. Forget that! If people don’t like you because you won’t do something for them, they aren’t worth your time. In fact, it is usually these same people who keep coming back to you over and over again for favors. RED FLAG: If there is a particular someone who is always asking you to do things and making you feel guilty if you don’t do them, this person isn’t acting in your best interest so DON’T FEEL BAD not doing them a favor. If you are always acting with good intentions for yourself and others, you never have to worry about what people think about you because you already know who you are.

Know the Difference Between Being ‘Selfish’ and ‘Self-Preservation’

People confuse saying no with being selfish. There is a big difference between being selfish and self-preserving. Picture on one end of the spectrum there is SELFISH. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, there is SELFLESS. These are the two extremes. Somewhere in the middle, there lies SELF-PRESERVATION; the intersection of doing for others and doing for yourself. Here, in the balance, is where you must strive to be.

Don’t Lie or Try to Offer Explanations

Commonly, people try to come up with explanations as to why they cannot do something and others go so far as to make up a lie to justify their decision. This is totally unnecessary and ridiculous. First of all, never lie. That only creates a whole other layer of a problem for which someone would have the right to be angry if they found out the truth. You don’t need to lie. Learn and get used to simply saying no. It is a complete sentence, after all.

Be Graceful in Your Delivery

It’s in the way you say it, too. If you finally crack and say, “NO! You know what, I’m not doing that! I’m sick of this!” or if you say it sheepishly, without confidence, “No, I don’t think I can,” you aren’t accomplishing your goal. Say it confidently and gracefully, “No, I can’t do that unfortunately,” works in almost every scenario. Stop there if it is a task that someone is asking you to do. If you are turning down someone’s invitation add, “but thank you for the offer.”

Be at Peace With Your Decision

The final and most important step here is to be at peace with your decision once it is made. Not wavering is another sign of confidence. After you decide to say no, stick to it! Don’t let anyone wear you down. Find peace knowing that you have acted in your best interest and in the best interest of the other person as well.

Practice these steps and soon they will become second nature to you. It may feel awkward to say no at first if you are used to always saying yes but trust me, you will thank yourself and you will be a better version of you for it.

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I will continue to keep you posted on my health journey. Please feel free to share below or tweet me @christiemandia.

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