How to bring the power of NO into your life
You reach a certain stage in your life where you’ll receive invitation after invitation from friends, colleagues, family or even your neighbour to spend time with them, to go out, or participate in an activity. With the chaos of life, trying to catch up with everybody on a consistent basis is exhausting.
The art of being able to say no (in a polite way) is life changing. We are always looking to please other people by saying yes all the time, but what about what we want? What about ourselves? Being able to say no when you really don't want to do something is a powerful tool. Now, this doesn't mean that you need to turn down all experiences or gatherings, it means selecting to do the ones that light you up and having the rest of the time to spend on yourself.
It can be difficult to say no to someone, as you might feel as if you are letting them down. However, there is a way to balance the things you really want to do and the things that don’t serve you. It's important to bring the word no into your life, so you only give your energy out to those things that will add to your day.
When to say no
A rule I have in my life is I will only participate or experience things that I feel will add to my life and bring me joy. On the occasion I just want to cancel my plans and spend the night in, then I will stay true to my needs and make sure I do so. Most of the time when we organise life events we want to do them. But when that time comes around, we realise that maybe we said yes for the wrong reason. Maybe it was for fear of missing out, or you felt pressure to say yes because you didn't want to be the odd one out. If you really aren’t invested in something it's probably worthwhile directing your energy into something you are. I’ve listed a few reasons below as to when you should consider saying no.
If you’ve committed to something for the wrong reasons
If you realise after committing that you really do not want to do it
If you want to focus on you instead of being around other people
If doing that thing will cause more stress to you than not going
If you won't enjoy the process of participating in the event
How to say no
This is the part that might sound difficult. All it requires is honesty and a bit of pre-planning. In the case of saying no to people always keep it honest. If a friend asks you if you want to hang out after work, but all you want to do is go home and soak in a long hot bath after a hard day - tell them that. Explain that you’ve had a long day and that you would like to spend some time by yourself. Most likely your friend will understand and will accept that you have declined their offer. No hard feelings. The first time is the hardest, but the more you practise the easier it will become. Saying no can cause us stress because we don't want to feel as if we’re letting the other person down; the more we practise saying no the less we will react to it.
Another point on how to say no is to think ahead a bit, if you’ve committed to something a few days ago and then suddenly on the day you really could use that time for yourself to do some self-care, its important to let that person know straight away. We can’t always give that person a heads up but if possible it’s best to decide what you want to do ahead of time.
Always be honest
Try to give as much of a heads up as possible
Be kind in your words
Time is the only resource we can’t get back. We can make more friends, money or experiences but we cannot make any more time. I live my life by doing the things I really want to do, the things that will add to my life and the things that make me happy. It’s that simple.
Start implementing no into your life and let me know how it goes.