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How to say 'no' and feel good about it too!

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Do you find yourself exhausted, frustrated, unappreciated and frankly taken for granted? Do you constantly work late, help others out at a moments notice but wonder why you cant get out for that run you promised yourself or give yourself 10 minutes to just sit and have a cup of tea in peace?

Being a people pleaser is exhausting. It's likely you are the kind of person that others like, and you work hard to make sure people like you. It's likely you measure your own self worth on how others view you too, and even fear people saying something negative about you.

Coming to the rescue is what you do. Helping out at a moments notice, going above and beyond, making sure everything is perfect. You have a really strong work ethic, you are kind, compassionate and want to do your best and be your best all the time....

But it's exhausting isn't it?

Right in that moment of frustration at yet another late night working, or the frustration of running another PTA event with no thank you's even though you gave up doing bedtimes for a whole week and your diet went out the window.....this is when you feel it the most, and it's time to listen.

Here are my top tips for turning the tables and making a change:

Tip 1 - Reflect on your needs

If you are feeling frustrated, there is a good chance you are stepping over a boundary you may not have realised you have. Do you have a clear picture of the things that matter to you, and what you want/need in your life to feel fulfilled and happy? Take time to think about this, and write down what those needs are - maybe it's bedtimes with kids where they have undivided attention, maybe it's making sure you go running 3 times a week, or maybe it's making sure you have time to do a course you paid for months ago. What ever it is, what boundaries might you need to put in place so you can achieve these things?

If you're struggling, think about the times you feel low energy, drained, angry, frustrated, resentful. Whats happening in those moments, and what is it that you needed? What went wrong, and where did that reaction come from? What is that emotion trying to tell you? Journalling on this can be really helpful to uncover whats really going on behind the scenes and what it is you really need.

Tip 2 - Believe in you

Your happiness is important, and you deserve to live life in a way that leaves you feeling fulfilled and full of energy. When you do this, you bring your best self to work, to home, to family, to friends. When you be

lieve this, and believe in you, you realise that the power to make yourself happy lies within you too.

Tip 3- Setting your boundaries

What you know what your needs are, you can start to set boundaries to help make sure those needs are met. If you've never thought about boundaries before, start with one area of your life where you feel frustrated, and set a simple boundary first. Think about what it is you need, and what you need to happen in order for that boundary to work. For example, if you want to run 3 times a week - when will you do this, what needs to happen to ensure you can go out? What do you need to say 'no' to, to

make sure you protect that time? Who do you need to communicate this to?

Start small, and build from there.

Tip 4 - Communication

The key to setting a boundary, is communication. Without them, people will be overstepping the boundary without even realising, and then be surprised when you get upset/frustrated. So don't feel bad about communication your boundaries, it's actually a positive thing and helps others know how best to interact/work w

ith you. You dont need detailed explanations and reasoning (remember this isnt about justtifying yourself to others or even yourself) just clear communication on what the boundary is and therefore what you can and cant do as a result. Keep it factual, and simple.

Tip 5 - Be consistent

When you first set a boundary, some may find it hard to accept. But the more you stick to it, the more it just becomes a way of life and others know what your boundaries are without question. Of course, this also means dealing with conflict - but remember when you do this, it will pay off in the long run. It isnt personal, and it doesnt need to be emotional, and you dont need to apologise! You'll soon find that people who respect your boundaries, are the ones who support you and lift you up. These are people you want in your life. Those that dont respect your boundaries and fight hard against them, are likely

to drain your energy and time - think about how those people play out in your life?

When you believe in yourself, and understand your own needs as as important as anyone else, you realise that saying no to others actually means saying yes to yourself. Saying yes to what you want, and saying yes to the life that brings you energy and fulfillment, so you can be at your best when you say 'yes' to everyone else.

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