Say it, Mean it , Uphold it !
We got lots of messages about the article Transform Your Life in June and we appreciate this greatly. We got a few questions regarding the ability to say NO, mean it and uphold it. So I decided to do a short note with three pointers that I hope will be useful :-)
The first is simply understanding that prioritising our feelings and our future is a valuable life skill. When our inner voice is saying No, it is our spirit saying variations of the following thoughts , " I do not desire this! I have my own ambitions and my own vision that I want to fulfil ! I do not deserve this! I do not think this is right for me! This will put me in a dangerous or unfavourable position! I am uncertain about this ! This will harm me ! This will inconvenience me greatly!". Our role is to listen and not disappoint or break our own spirits and zeal for life by ignoring these thoughts! Recognising that saying NO allows us to make decisions that favour our well-being and secures a happier future supports a more convincing NO. A NO that we will be motivated to uphold. In relation to upholding our NO, a reasonable person will accept our perspective and let the issue go or seek to provide more useful information to inform our decision making going forward. An unreasonable person may resort to negative tactics which in itself reaffirms the validity of you saying NO in the first place.
The second tip is recognising that upholding a "NO" decision may be difficult and it could be an everyday battle that has to be executed effectively and consistently. Our actions could contradict our words or support them, therefore our actions should be aligned with our words at all times. If they are, not only will we grow stronger in our certainty but our audience may be more convinced and potentially stop pressuring or reduce the pressure applied to change our minds. Being effective and consistent requires emotional maturity and self control. Hopefully we can develop these two themes in future notes.
The last tip is forgiving ourselves if we offend our audience. Sometimes, the reason we struggle to uphold our decision is because we may have said NO in a feeble or harsh manner that leads to a level of guilt from which we are driven to waiver on our decisions. In these cases , forgiving ourselves and letting go is useful. Focusing on the positive value of the decision can be the antidote to the uncomfortable feeling. If possible, apologising for a harsh delivery is suggested but the decision should stand.
Saying NO is one of the most important life skills and our ability to say and execute effectively will be one of the anchors that allow us to live more fulfilled, enjoyable and balanced lives. So practice this skill with dignity, confidence and grace.
In Love - Always