I used to have a big problem saying no effectively. While I’m not 100% there all the time, I’ve gotten a lot better! This is part 1 of a 2 part blog.

Are you the person people always come to because they know you won’t say no? Do you often say yes to something you don’t want to do? Have you found yourself angry after committing to something that you don’t want to do?

This blog is inspired by my clients. When I work with people I give them homework if they like. I have a really holistic view of professional organizing and saying no might be a part of homework. Also, many coaching clients get this assignment.

How-to-Say-No-&-Mean-It! Photo Isaiah Rustad Uplash

It is also inspired by me because I am a recovering unable to say no addict.  I serve as an example that you can do it!

I have had my boundaries tested a lot in the last few weeks and it has been really draining. I didn’t set a boundary a few months ago and it is now biting me in the butt.

I saw someone who has a dying parent not have the family’s wishes respected. In a time when people should provide comfort, they are adding stress to an already stressful situation.

Many people struggle with saying no.  If we don’t say no we can create tons of clutter in our lives. We could create emotional clutter with anger for doing something we didn’t want to.  Physical clutter from holding onto stuff that isn’t ours; spiritual clutter by not honoring what our soul needs; mental clutter by beating ourselves up by ruminating about the woulda coulda shouldas, relationship clutter because we aren’t hanging out with supportive people; financial clutter by loaning money when we can’t say no.

Being able to say no is about good boundaries. If someone gets upset when you say no, not your problem.  People who respect you will respect your boundaries. Let the others go.

Reasons Why We Don’t Say No!

Just-Say-No! -Photo-James-Orr Upsplash

Might get confused we are a bad person. Most times as kids are taught not okay or not polite, rude.  Sometimes can be autopilot. Went on vacation with my mom a few years ago and was surprised how quickly I went autopilot and felt like I was five. And I have worked on myself a lot! If this is new to you be gentle with yourself.

Know you are loved good enough and worthy.  Don’t depend on someone else’s opinion of you!

If I don’t who will do it? Boy, can this one get me sucked in! I now know it’s not my job to take care of the world.

Want to be liked! Who doesn’t want to be liked? Most of us do!  One of the magical things about turning 50 is you care less about this stuff.  You want people who love and like you even when you say no.

Afraid you might be missing out on something. I used to run myself ragging doing things I didn’t want to because I was sure there would be something I’d miss. I no longer do that.  I trust the right things will find their way to me.

In addition to the reasons why I believe it is beneficial to become aware of your triggers.  Who or what triggers you?

You-can-effectively-say-no-and-mean-it! Photo Uplash

One of the hardest things I had to say no to was babysitting for a man I used to work for.  He and his wife went through a bitter divorce and unfortunately, the kids suffered the most.  The mother was uninterested in her children and the father moved on with a younger woman.

The job was overnight and paid really well. I always love kids and so I would do a really good job. We had fun and I made sure they did their homework. The problem was I didn’t get paid before the gig (when we have a cat sitter I always leave the check) and I’d have to fight to get paid AFTER the fact. It was like he resented having to pay me. The final straw was when I watched the kids for two weeks while he and his girlfriend went out of the country and he didn’t pay me immediately.  He was also a doctor and so money really wasn’t the issue.

He had talked to me about babysitting again.  I made my friend come over and hold my hand when I talked to him on the phone. I said, “No. I love your kids, but every time I sit for you, it’s a hassle to get paid. I do my job and I do my job well and shouldn’t have to beg you for what I’m rightfully owed.” He was surprised but said, “OK.” I never babysat for him again. I also had to lose the guilt about what would happen to his children. They weren’t my responsibility—they were their parents and they were on their own journey.

Why is saying no effectively challenging to you? Who is the hardest person for you to say no to in your life? What has been holding you back from saying no?

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