Saying "no" with Kindness + Confidence

Saying "no" with Kindness + Confidence

  1. What am I really afraid of?

    Whenever I resist honoring my needs, often it is because I fear something. I fear missing out. I fear upsetting or hurting someone. I fear loss of connection or friendship. I fear I won’t be needed or liked. The list goes on and on. But it’s important to remember that we no longer have to make choices and act on this fear. When we take a chance on our relationships and really express our limits, we can ensure that our best, most authentic self shows up (even if others don’t like it). At the end of the day, no one wants you to say “yes” to something with resentment, guilt or from a place of fear. Committing to something from a place of needing to feel worthy, earn your friendship, or work harder to be accepted is not the reason you want to say “yes.” Be willing to look beneath the fear, and observe without acting. The right people will accept your limits.

  2. What does my true “yes” look like?

    If we want to better use our “no,” we must first understand what our real “yes” looks like. Here, I ask myself to play the tape all the way through. If I tell a friend I can help with her fundraiser, what does that time commitment really look like? Is it a long weekend? Or a few months? Am I {joyfully} able to give of myself, my time, my talents? Will doing so take away from my main priorities (family, work, self care, school?) Also, what will this feel and look like for me in a week? Will I still be showing up as my joyful self, or will resentments and regret arise by then? If there is any hesitation, your answer is probably a solid “no.”

  3. Think on it first

    The hardest “no’s” for me to deliver on are the ones I really want to do. I love helping friends! I love being a part of the action! I love sharing my time and talents for a cause! But even “good” things sometimes need a “no.” Whenever I am not sure, I think and pray on it for a few days. I speak with my partner, bounce ideas off a close friend, and I play the tape through. I spend time getting brutally clear on if this is something I can do. If I can’t, I come to terms with it and communicate my limit. Remember, people will always respect a clear “no” over a flaky “yes.”

    If I am still not sure after giving it some time, then I know it’s a “no.” More time will not make it more clear for me. If anything, more time will just distract me and leave me scrambling to explain myself with excuses and insecurities, which isn’t fair to anyone. Find the courage to speak up, share your truth, and deliver the “no” with confidence and kindness.

My close girlfriend always says, "say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.”

From the words of my mentor, “clear is kind.” - Brene Brown

Yours in healing,

CB

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