I get asked this a lot! I get it from my business clients and from my fitness clients – and it is usually after someone has said yes to something but now wants to say no. They feel that they can’t change their mind and ask me “Ya, but what do I do?” I know, it’s a real loop, isn’t it?
It is important to understand and realize that just because we said yes in the first place does not mean that we can never go back and say no. We agree to do things for many reasons which are usually valid at the time when we say yes. However then often we have time to think about it and realize a no would have been the best choice. We genuinely want to help so it’s uncomfortable because we don’t want to disappoint or not be a team player.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times we want to change our mind because we are afraid or are out of our comfort zone and think we can’t do something. That is not what I am talking about. I’m talking about things we have said yes to that take us away from our desired outcomes or goals. Like a client who signed up for a weekly networking meeting and later realized that it was taking her away from running her business and impacting when she could see her clients. This ultimately led to impacting her money-making abilities so she needed to say no after saying yes.
Where in your life do you need to say no after you have said yes? Trust me; it isn’t as scary as your gremlin is making it out to be. We aren’t talking about being mean. We are all entitled to change our minds and we do not need to offer a great detailed explanation as to why.
You probably think if you say no then:
- people won’t like you
- you’ll let others down and they’ll be disappointed in you
- you’ll look like a failure or worse, you’ll feel like a failure
I am here to tell you that the above are not true!
What is really happening is that you are telling yourself a story about what you think will happen. You’re talking yourself out of doing what is best for you. If you aren’t true to yourself, what will happen is that you end up full of resentment, frustration and—even worse—anger at both yourself and the other person. Let me ask you, do you think this is a good thing? No, of course it isn’t and you know that. Which is why you have such an internal tug-o-war; your inner guidance knows it needs to say no and your ego is saying that you can’t.
Saying no authentically and with compassion for both yourself and the other person is the only way to honor yourself.
I remember the first time I said no after saying yes. Was I nervous and afraid? You bet I was. However, it felt so good that I spoke up for myself and for what I wanted and needed! Did the world end? Of course it did not, and it won’t when you do it.
Is there something or someone that you said yes to that now you want to say no? I encourage you to speak up confidently and say “I know that I said I would do xyz, but I realize that I won’t be able to.” Sometimes you may be able to make a recommendation or suggestion for a replacement, and if you are by all means please do; just don’t do that in order to take the pressure off of you. Come from a true place of self-empowerment and you will always feel good about yourself.