Practical Steps to Saying NO
This time of year is notoriously busy. Instead of giving all of yourself to others, how about setting some boundaries and really honouring you? Learning to say no to requests, demands and even offers leaves us with the space that many of us crave. However it isn’t just space that this brings. It also gives us mental clarity and a sense of ourselves. If we exist at others beck and call, we risk giving up a vital aspect of ourselves. I have learnt that by being selective with my time, it truly has given me the space to pursue the things that I love.
When people ask me how I juggle things, it is mostly because I have let go of things that I don’t want in my life. Not because of any skill set of exceptional organisation. Are you ready to focus on what you want? I don’t think it is selfish, I think it is survival.
Here are some tips to get you started. Grab a diary and make some notes. It is great to actually write or speak our intentions so that they become more meaningful and we become accountable:
- What are the things you are currently involved in that you want to let go of? Make a note of these in your diary.For example: I don’t want to be on the school committee for fundraising anymore;
- What are the steps you need to do in order to make the above statement a reality? Again write a dot point list.
- Tell other committee members;
- Finish outstanding tasks;
- Organise a new recruit.
- When someone asks you for something or to do something etc, give yourself a breathing space. Tell them you will let them know later. By giving this space, we can see if it is something we do really want to do. After 48 hours, I am usually much clearer about something.
- Spend some time noticing the person / people that you think you have to please? What would happen if they were displeased with you? Resolve to make decisions not based on what someone else wants but you would like. For some people this will be incredibly uncomfortable, even triggering. If this is you, spend more time here.
If this is a new experience for you and you are feeling significant guilt, spend some time really examining the experience of guilt itself. Not the thoughts alone but the feeling as well. Quite often getting to know guilt and befriending it means, it is nothing to be afraid of. One can just acknowledge guilt and not need to act on it.
I spend lots of time coaching women on how to learn these skills to become self directed and ultimately fulfilled. Get in touch if you’d like some one-to-one time via Life Coaching. Love Katie Carter BSW, Masters Human Rights, Life Coach & Teacher