How Saying NO Can Improve Your Life

January 13, 2020

“Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.”  ― Stephanie Lahart

 

We’ve all been there - someone asks us to attend a party/event; to do something to help them out; to take on this new piece of work... and without even really thinking about it, we say “YES”.  Even though, we are already tired and busy from everything that we have going on; even though we already have too much work to do; even though we don’t want to go to the party and really just want to rest.  So many of us do things that we really don’t want to do because we are worried about letting other people down.  When we say YES without wanting to, often it is because we are making up stories in our minds about what the other person will think of us if we say no.  Perhaps they will: 

 

- think we are lazy and unhelpful

- not ask us to that event/party again or to do some work in the future; 

- think we are selfish 

- feel let-down.

 

However the reality is that very few people would think of us negatively for saying NO or setting boundaries for ourselves.  How would you react if a close friend told you that they were tired and had to turn down your invitation to the dinner party? Chances are you may even respect them more for taking care of their health and well-being.  The reality is that most people don’t take it personally or think of us negatively when we say NO and if they do, they tend to get over it pretty quickly anyway.  Actually by saying NO we show others that we are someone that can set healthy boundaries and take care of ourselves. 

 

 Often it is our good nature driving us to want to do things for others.  However many of us are saying YES so often that we are driving ourselves to the ground: we are exhausted, too busy and completely depleted - because we are always putting other people’s needs before our own.  

 

This is exactly why, it is really important that we all start to get comfortable saying NO more often.  Before you say YES to something, ask yourself: 

 

- Do I really have to do this or am I just doing it because I feel obligated to do it? 

- Have I just made up a story in my mind about what the other person will think of me if I say NO? 

- Do I really want to do this and will I enjoy doing this? 

- In an ideal world - what would I choose to do in this situation?

 

Just like you - I’ve been there - I’ve said YES because I want to do what I think I “should”.  I’ve said YES because I don’t want to let others down and because I’ve worried about what other people might think.  However, over time, my life has transformed as I have started saying NO more often.  You see, it isn’t selfish to say NO sometimes, it is actually SELFLESS. When I say NO more often to things I don’t want to do and things I don’t have time to manage, it means I have the time and energy to take care of myself... and when I take care of myself properly, I am a much better friend, therapist, colleague, sister, wife etc.  

 

Saying NO and setting healthy boundaries is something that we look at in more detail in my 12 week online course in food psychology.  A really important part of building a new relationship with food is also boosting your confidence and self-esteem - and setting boundaries for yourself forms a really big part of this.  If you purchase this online course, you have 5 days to take a look around, use the materials and see if it works for you.  If you do not find what you see/use helpful - you can claim a refund of the price you paid.  So you can now try out the course risk free. You can find out more about the online course here: www.thefoodpsychologyclinic.co.uk/onlinecourse. 

 

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious.  You get to choose how you use it.  You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.”  ― Anna Taylor

 

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