N-O. Such a simple (and full) sentence but one that can be incredibly difficult to say.
If you learned a long time ago that putting other people before yourself was the ‘right thing to do’ and have spent every minute of every day since then doing just that, then setting boundaries, standing up for yourself and saying NO loud and proud won’t feel like a good time. As a matter of fact, it’s going to feel hard and resistant.
That deep-rooted conditioning that keeps us from saying no can lead to a very present fear of making the choices that you know will bring you the life you desire, it keeps you captive in patterns that aren’t serving you and out of touch with your inner authority. It’s literally like being caught between a rock and a hard place.
The first step to any change is awareness, so let’s explore some of the possible reasons you struggle to say no:
1. You aren’t aware of your ego
Your ego is a self-created concept of who you are based on your past experiences. It’s shaped by the core beliefs (true or false) that you learned in childhood. These internalized beliefs carry forward into your adulthood and become the adopted “truth” of who you believe yourself, others, and the world around you to be.
As a result, the ego can greatly influence your decision-making. It’s one-third of the elements that make up your personality and partly responsible for setting your preferences and priorities. The ego is actually the decision-making component of your personality.
Through developing ego awareness you are able to deconstruct any false identities, create new perspectives and truths about yourself, and build positive, empowering thought patterns around your decisions and responses.
Very often, it is these false identities and disempowering beliefs that keep us stuck in a reactive state, speaking in contradiction with what we truly believe or want. It’s this reactivity that keeps you saying yes to what is truly a no because that’s the story and identity that’s been unconsciously created for you or perpetuated by you.
2. The kid in you needs your support
We all have an inner child. The kid in us never goes away. It’s that part of your subconscious that stores messages and beliefs before you were able to fully process or challenge them. In simple terms, consider it a stored memory and filter through which you experience adulthood.
Most of us are acting from a wounded inner child in some way or another. Perhaps you learned at a young age that in order to be seen, heard, loved, and accepted you had to accommodate other people’s expectations. For example:
You’re afraid to say ‘no’ because you believe that “they” (whoever that is) will be mad at you, won’t like you, or love you. And when you do say no, you feel like you have to explain why you’re saying no and you feel guilty for saying it as if you were a child having to ask permission or justify actions!
You might often find yourself acting from fear of someone's reaction instead of operating from a space that that supports your own highest good; and that’s not selfish, by the way. Beneath these actions, your wounded inner child is crying out for the things that you did not receive as a child. It’s really saying “look at me, love me, accept me!”
3. You’re holding onto self-limiting beliefs
Much of what you believe to be true about yourself and the world around you was learned through your family dynamics and patterns. This learned behavior is also known as conditioning… something that many of us as adults are actively trying to UNlearn!
If the modeled behavior that you learned as a child was to be accommodating and to say yes to every request made of you, then it’s very likely that as an adult you will still be struggling to set clear boundaries, say no, and prioritize your own needs.
Consider the dynamic of your childhood home and what messages were being communicated to you as a child:
How were you taught to respond to other people’s needs?
What responses did you receive when trying to set a boundary?
How were you taught to acknowledge your own needs and desires, if at all?
4. Boundaries aren’t being reinforced
Boundaries are essential for healthy relationships! They help you communicate your needs and set the parameters of what you expect in your relationships so that both parties can feel safe, comfortable, and respected.
They are also a great way to keep you from overextending yourself and protect your time, energy, and resources.
The sad truth is that many people don't set them because they're afraid of losing love or someone withholding love from them.
And yet, by failing to set clear boundaries, we end up in the exact place we don't want to be... feeling unheard, unimportant, and invalidated because we are teaching those we love that our needs don't matter.
By not respecting ourselves and holding our own boundaries with ourself, we are not showing others how to respect us. You teach people how to treat you by how well you treat yourself and stick to your own boundaries.
When you begin to work on your self-worth, set boundaries, and stay rooted and grounded in the knowledge of what’s right and true for you, you can do nothing but come out on top.
If you'd like more guidance on how to identify, communicate and reinforce your boundaries, then check out this FREE GUIDE available to download below including a 5-step structure for setting your boundaries:
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SETTING AND REINFORCING BOUNDARIES
For Women Who Can't Say No
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5. Your Intuition isn’t Coming into Play
Let me tell ya something... your INTUITION is the Homie, your secret sidekick! And although we all have this incredible superpower, it’s easy to slip out of communication with it. After all, we’re only humans handling our reinforced programming and conditioning and walking amongst the chatter of life; focused on the family, sidetracked by a mindset block yet to overcome, and struggling to deal with the guilt that might follow honoring our truth.
These are hindrances that can block us from hearing or tapping into our intuition which causes us to lose our inner direction and be easily distracted to follow someone else and keep us stuck saying yes to things and people when we want to say no.
But the good news is that you don't have to flip your life upside-down to discover your intuition. Start small, start with a focus, start listening... Start FEELING.
Unblocking your intuition and making good use of it gives you an open door away from the heavy and contracted egoic way of acting for others' approval.
Once again, awareness is just the first step to confidently and boldly living in your truth. If you’re ready to build such a strong connection with your inner authority that you become UNF*CKABLEWITH then go check out Living In the No Transformational Journey.
Enrollment is currently open for this intimate 12-week program that takes you through 4 phases of transformation so that you can dig deep to reprogram your beliefs and mindset, find balance, and actualize your potential.
We work through deep healing in each of these 5 blocks plus so much more.
This program is for the woman who has been giving her all to everyone else for far too long, and is ready to reclaim her authority over her own life and start feeling confident to express her truth and do life HER way.
Learn more about Empowerment Private Coaching today: