There are numerous reasons why it is hard to say “No”. Some people find it harder to do it with people they love and others can’t seem to set boundaries at work or with other people they are not even close to. And some struggle to say “No” to anyone.
Why is it hard to say “No”?
If we’ve been growing up in unloving and non supportive environment feelings such as fear, shame and guilt have been installed deep in our subconscious minds. If we don’t feel safe and loved we won’t develop healthy boundaries. And a lack of boundaries reflects in all areas of our lives, therefore also in our capability of saying “No”.
If we don’t work on healing the wounded parts of ourselves, they will keep on jumping out in every situation we might be feeling unsafe, not good enough or unloved.
While we are craving for love and seeking approval, instead of creating healthy boundaries and saying “No” when we should – we will agree on doing things that aren’t actually good for us or are making us unhappy.
By that we continue building a cycle that drags us deeper and deeper in unhealthy behaviors and states. We become depressed, insecure, angry and often passive aggressive – taking it out in different ways or ”losing it” in inappropriate moments. That in turn leads to even more shame, guilt and fear.
How to break free from this cycle
Here are the steps we have to take to be able to break free, form healthy boundaries and learn how to say “No”:
- Start working on loving yourself. It’s necessary to work with your Inner Child. When we teach the little one inside us that we love it and care for it no matter what, it will start feeling safer and more confident. That will enable you to say “No” in more and more situations that are not healthy for you.
- Be willing to see the true reasons why is it hard for you to say “No”.
- Be willing to see the unhealthy relationships you’re in and to start setting your boundaries little by little.
- Take responsibility. When you get angry after you didn’t say “no” – remember it is YOU who has the power to say it next time.
- Give yourself time. If you’ve been living like this your whole life, it will take some time to heal and become proactive in what you’ve learned.
- Be willing to fail. Life will throw many tests at you. At first to make sure if you’ve really made a decision to change, and then to make sure if you’ve learned your lesson. Some tests you will pass, some test you will fail. It is okay! There is no such thing as a “mistake” – only a lesson. When you fall, dust yourself off, get up, give yourself a hug and start over.
Love yourself and the little one inside of you.
Be willing to see what isn’t good for you.
Keep being persistent but give yourself time.
Know it is okay to make mistakes. That is how we learn and grow.
We talk about this topic and many more in depth in our School of Personal Change, and after so many classes already, I’m amazed each and every time at how our students break their old habits and learn how to deeply care and love for themselves, each other, bringing joy and inspiration to all in and around them.