Do you have difficulty saying NO to others and YES to yourself?
"We must say 'no' to what, in our heart, we don't want. We must say 'no' to doing things out of obligation, thereby cheating those important to us of the purest expression of our love. We must say 'no' to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else's. We must say 'no.'"— Suzette Hinton
If there is one thing I have learned while healing from a serious stress-related illness, it is the necessity of allowing myself to say "no" to others. Giving myself the permission to choose for myself without feeling guilty or annoyed.
Most of us have the tendency of wanting to please others, help others and save others on a consistent basis, especially those who are sensitive or highly sensitive or working in the health care sector.
We've learned that we need to put ourselves aside if we want to help others, while it is actually the opposite. We need to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of others. No use in depleting ourselves in any way. We pay for that in the long run, it is unhealthy.
If you have difficulty saying "no" to others and "yes" to yourself, here are a few strong practical tips to consider when somebody asks for your help and you really want to say "no". You can start saying "no" with confidence and without feeling guilty or bad about it:
1. Own your responsibility.
The more responsibility you have for your own life and know exactly what you want for yourself, the easier it will be to say no.
You need to make choices about your priorities, your values and your goals so that making a decision on what you can or cannot do for people around you is easier and quicker. It is a fact that your environment will respect you even more for your honesty and clarity.
2. Just saying NO is enough.
The word "no" is enough as an answer, you don't need to defend your position. The more reasons you give after you say "no", the more ammunition you give the other person to try to convince you toward a "yes".
You simply have the "right" to say "no" whenever you feel like it. It is your birthright to take care of yourself and put yourself first.
3. Ask for time to give an answer.
It might be a good exercise to start with gaining time, before you really say the "no" word. In my practice, I advise people who really battle to set their boundaries to ask the other person for some time to think it over.
"I will check this in my agenda (or with my family) and get back to you on that."
By winning some time, you can come back to them when you feel strong enough to be firm in your decision and choice.
4. Help out in a different way.
If you feel you really would like to help that person and choose for yourself at the same time, it might help you to offer the other person to look out for someone else who can say "yes". That way, you might feel you have helped in another way, without sacrificing yourself.
"When you say YES to others, make sure you are not saying NO to yourself," says Paulo Coelho.
We all think that when we say "no", it will cause a conflict or people will love us less. Some people might be quiet surprised the first time you say "no" to them, but most people can accept it and will respect you for setting your priorities.
When you practice conscious self-care daily, as if your health depends on it, and it really does, saying "no" becomes a natural expression of living out of love. You will say "yes" to others when it is a "yes" to yourself as well.
Honesty and authenticity are the best presents you can give to yourself, and to others.
To discover more simple-but-powerful steps to activate more conscious self-love and self-care and set healthy boundaries for yourself, visit Danielle's website at www.daniellesax.com.
This article was originally published at Danielle Sax. Reprinted with permission from the author.