Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” I often think about that quote when I have to make a choice/decision I call it Mindful Decision Making – Yes (to be?) or No (not to be?).
That is the key to decision-making – it all boils down to choice – “will you – won’t you?”
What are the deciding factors?
Now, do you use Mindful Thinking Time (MTT) or just say the first thing that comes into your head? I hear you reply, ‘Usually the first thing that comes into my head Diva’ – ‘WHY’ I yell at you? You are a grown up!
- Conditioning is one reason
- Fear is another
- Your needs don’t matter
- Anything for a quiet life
- You could add to the list
Fear tends to be the big one…’if I say no what will be the repercussions’? It’s often to do with;
- wanting to be liked
- pleasing people
- be seen as a good person
- meeting all family needs
- anything to stop arguments.
Saying YES – moving forward to saying No!
I don’t know about you, but I used to find saying ‘NO’ to people so difficult when they asked me to do something for them because I loved to please others. The upshot would be that I over-committed myself and got so stressed trying to spin lots of plates, juggling many balls. Eventually, I had a breakdown.
Interestingly it is always your needs that get left behind. Then you feel animosity towards whoever you had said YES to and angry at yourself for not being strong and declining the request. Does this feel familiar?
Firstly, it’s not their fault if you can’t be assertive and most people don’t mind readers. Secondly, you permit them to continue to keep asking because you have never said NO!
Remember this old phrase; copy it out and stick it on the fridge;
‘WHEN I SAY NO
I AM REFUSING
There may be no particular time of the year that you find yourself being pulled in all directions (maybe festivities) it can be any day.
So, what to do about it? Consider why you say YES…do you feel under pressure to do so? Is it often against your better judgment too. If this is so, then there can be a few reasons why.
- You aren’t clear about your priorities.
- You may feel the other person will dislike you if you say no and will become upset.
- The other person is a friend, and you always please your friends.
- Because you have always done it
- It is expected of you – (remember you have been permitting for years)
Why do you say YES and then regret it; there will be a reason – sort it out! Move forward it’s your life – it’s SELF-CARE!
Remember your priorities should come first when you say yes then you are often saying no to something else.
Only say yes to those things you want to do. You don’t have to give a reason why you say ‘NO,’ however, you need to practice saying it as some people (often family) make it hard for us. Top tip: try your practice out on friends
One strategy I get all my tribe to use is to say, ‘give me a few minutes and I will check my diary and get back to you.’ You can even say that you will ‘sleep on it.’ That way you give yourself a bit of mindful thinking time (MTT).
You then decide if it is a yes or a no.
If it’s a NO, acknowledge the other persons request and what they are asking is important (to them), however, that you have ‘other commitments /priorities’ or ‘you don’t have enough time’ or ‘don’t have the skills.’
You can help the other person solve their problem by making a suggestion of someone else they can ask. Keep in your head that ‘this is not my problem.’
Remember Some Top Tips:
- When you say ‘NO,’ you are refusing a request not rejecting the person. State your position clearly and in a positive way.
- Don’t hang around after coz the other person may think you could be changing your mind.
- Consider your tone of voice – keep it neutral
- Watch your body language, is it saying the same as your words?
- Develop Self-respect for your own needs as it is core to your Self-Care
- You always have choices about everything you do no matter how hard it may seem.
Your Challenge – Your Life
To get to a stage, I could say ‘NO’ without fear I had to practice; so my challenge to you is to find a friend and have a practice.
Take a situation like an invitation to an event you don’t want to attend and just have a go, listen to the feedback from your friend and Practice, Practice, Practice. It will take time, but you will feel the benefits.
Yes, there may be a few casualties along the way. However, they may be the ‘Toxic Energies’ or ‘Energy Vampires’ you needed to ditch anyway!
Begin to feel how much more relaxed and empowered you are once you have started to say ‘NO’ – less stressed and have more time for the important things in your life. Just think;
- MORE TIME;
- LESS STRESS;
- LIFE BALANCE
and that’s just three payoffs.
Let me know how your challenge goes.
Until next time