No matter what anyone tries to tell you...
"No" IS a complete sentence.
No, you are not selfish for saying it and no, you do not need to explain yourself.
Whenever you feel that uncontrollable urge to explain WHY you're saying no...as if a simple "no" needs a full blown discourse...ask yourself:
Who would I become if I stopped apologizing for who I am and what I want?
And in that, you'll find this truth:
You're making an attempt to control their perceptions of you because you learned by watching, or listening, to others who'd paint their NO in a more positive light.
But now, you're a grown ass adult living in fear of being called selfish for making your goals a priority. How's that working out for you?
This part of you, the part that still needs approval and permission to be authentic, is calling on you to HEAL.
THIS is where it starts...
Clear Goals Demand Clear Actions
One of the tools I use with clients is the "Hell Yes/Hell No Principle."
Whenever making a decision, if it moves you closer to a goal it's a Hell Yes. And if it's not a Hell Yes, it's automatically a Hell NO.
Simple, right? Well, only if you have a CLEAR goal.
But if you haven't chosen a specific goal you can't get clear on where you're headed. And if you don't know where you're headed, how will you know if the choice moves you closer to, or away from, the goal?
We have to start with the goal and get crystal clear on it in order to know when YES vs NO is in order.
Emphatic choices are much easier when you know where you're headed.
You can't tell your gps "I want to go somewhere in that general vicinity...but if you take me over here I wouldn't mind...but I kind of like it over there too..." and then expect it to KNOW what you want.
Indecision kills motivation because motivation is driven by direction. No finish line to aim for, no emotion to move you closer to it.
And if you already struggle being consistent, you've trained your brain to believe that you can't be trusted to decide on any specific direction.
Of COURSE you won't be able to say NO to anyone. Of course you'll be more afraid of what others will think of you. Of course you'll be devastatingly afraid of making the wrong decision. Of course you'll be distracted by shiny objects...
You haven't even said YES to yourself.
In which case, your need to over-explain your NO has nothing to do with the other person and EVERYTHING to do with you.
You're trying to convince yourself! They're just there as a tool for your self-awareness.
This is your cue:
It's time to make a decision.
Get clear on the goal, get clear on WHY that goal is essential, and your NO will be a whole lot easier. People will respect your decisions when YOU respect yourself enough to follow through on what you say you'll do.
Accountability is your LIFEBLOOD
When you say NO, you're showing someone that you believe in yourself. You believe in your potential. You believe in your ability to WIN.
You know where you're headed, why it matters, and you won't let anything stand in your way.
However, when you're unable to hold yourself accountable to a decision, and you allow excuses to deter you...
You'll find it's so much harder to speak up for yourself and to establish your own boundaries. You'll have a LOT more to explain when you aren't clear on why you're saying NO or how it supports your goals and self worth.
Deep down inside you realize:
"If I pretend to value my goals, people will then expect that of me. And if they expect that of me, I won't have any room to wiggle my way out. They'll hold me accountable to a higher standard, consistently, and call me out when I slack."
And yes, I hear this from clients MORE times than I can count.
Higher standards are only scary when you don't hold yourself accountable to them each and every day.
Consistency is lacking in the present and so, you're worried you won't be able to follow through in the future.
Just keep in mind...
The standards you fear most are NOT the highest you can go. They're merely stepping stones that lead to the next goal and the next.
These new standards ARE inevitable so the sooner you begin the climb, the sooner you will feel excited to strive for higher and higher levels in the future.
After all, you came into human form to GROW, not to remain the same.
You WANT to surround yourself with people who won't let you play small!
These are the REAL ones who will hold the vision for you even when you can't see it yourself.
When you allow others to hold you accountable, they'll understand and respect the intrinsic nature of your NO because they see you walking the talk each and every day.
Self Respect Begets Respect From Others
Because the external world will always reflect the internal, people will "respect" your boundaries in the same way they see you respecting them.
If they see you walking all over your own boundaries, they'll assume it's okay to do the same.
How can you establish where you draw the line if you don't even know where you stand? How can you express to people what you expect of them if you don't even know what you expect of yourself?
If I am clear on my goal, and I hold myself accountable to it, it's a hell of a lot easier to say "THIS is what I expect of you, what I expect of myself, and what you can expect of me."
This is where a NO becomes easy.
You say NO to yourself when something doesn't align with your goal. You know how it FEELS to be told NO and respect that boundary. People SEE you following through and honoring your own commitments so they hear your NO as a form of self respect not as something to be triggered by.
It simplifies everything. We walk the talk and the world adapts to the vibe we're putting out.
We are less offended, less defensive, and less anxious. We are less misunderstood and people know where they stand with us.
Obviously leading to unshakeable confidence in the end.
When your life is disciplined in such a way that people will listen to your words and let you lead, they want what you have. You become the role model you all need and they respect your requests without question.
They respect you because you respect yourself and there is no longer a need to make sense of the NO.
They trust your WORD because you honor it daily. You ARE the walking billboard of clarity and your actions do all the speaking for you.
If you're going to BE the change you wish to see in this world, this is how it starts.
Become the type of leader you wish to see more of in the world and you'll watch the world around you MATCH your vibe.
You've got this,
Alida, The Oracle