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Four Words To Use More Often: Yes, No, Oops & Hello

Part 2 of 5: Turning the Word No Into a Gift

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by Lisa Cohen in Expansion, Quality of Life, Strategies

Many people have a difficult time saying “no,” and this is yet another thing that can be particularly hard for women because of conditioning. Sometimes, not saying “no” comes from the genuinely good place of wanting to help someone. The problem is when you avoid saying “no” because you worry about what people will think if you do. You may end up being overextended and feeling stressed, or you may feel frustrated by trying to fit into a mold that doesn’t fit you.

Do you struggle with saying no?” What if you stopped viewing “no” as a bad thing and began to look at it as a word that can help you shape your life to reflect your values and dreams? What if the word “no” is really a gift you can give yourself?

“No” Can Make You Happier

One of the best reasons to say “no” is simply that it can make you happier. How many times have you agreed to do something that you really didn’t want or have time to do, only to regret it later (perhaps you’ve even been in that situation recently)? You wish you’d never said yes, but now it’s too late and you feel obligated to follow through on your promise.  You may even feel a bit resentful, which is definitely unpleasant.

Saying no can make you happier by sparing you the stress and exhaustion of an overcrowded schedule as well as any negative emotions stemming from saying yes when you wish you’d said no.

No Can Set You Free from Expectations

Another advantage of saying no is that it can help you let go of expectations. Sometimes those are others’ expectations, but sometimes they’re your own. Ask yourself who you’d be if you didn’t worry about what other people thought of you or if you didn’t have rigid expectations of yourself.

What if you let go of those expectations? What if you chose to believe that you can change? How would that feel?

No Can Help You Honor Yourself

Few things feel worse than realizing that you’ve failed to honor yourself. Perhaps you took on projects that weren’t a good fit for your gifts or you stayed in a relationship with a partner that didn’t honor you. Maybe you tried to be who you thought you should, even though it was painful.

Saying no to a situation that’s not helping you be your best self is the first step toward honoring yourself. It’s also the first step toward finding ways to change your circumstances.

Look at saying no as a good thing. It means that you know what you want and you’re serious about growing into your best self.  Read Part 3: How Embracing Oops Can Change Your Life.

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