Can you say “YES!” to your “NO”?

A lot of us have difficulty saying no.  There are so many things that can be triggered just at the thought of saying no.  What if we are rejected or judged or just not listened to?

There was a time where I was a “Yes, yes, yes” person.  You need help moving?  YES!  You need a babysitter?! Yes!  You need support… a dog watcher…time….money…the shirt off my back?  YES!  UGH!  I was so busy saying yes to everyone else that I rarely had time to say yes to myself.

I finally started changing this around when I found that all these people I was saying yes to, were not saying yes to me.  It is not for me to say whether or not these people were selfish or not willing to be there for me, it was a matter of my ability to be able to be clear with my request for their support.  I found that there were times when I was not being completely honest and clear with what I needed and then I would hold it against someone that they weren’t meeting my needs.  That was a fun learning process…NOT!

There were other times when I would ask for something and my requests weren’t heard.  Sometimes it was a matter of needing emotional support and again I found the same thing I wasn‘t being clear enough AND there were times that I was very clear and the person chose not to be there for me.  Either way, I needed to evaluate when I show up with yes and when I show up with no.

I decided that NO would be my go-to answer for everything.  I would say no or sometimes “NO, I don’t think that will work for me, but if that changes I will let you know.”  When I came from a place of no it wasn’t just a no to the other person, it was a YES to me!  I decided I would only do the things that I wanted to do, the things that filled me, brought me joy or helped me in some way.  I wanted my giving to be connected to my receiving and I would not settle for half in either direction.

I discovered that I was not saying no more than before and I realized that my yes was so much more meaningful.  When I made the decision to be in my NO, unless I was intentionally in my yes, I found so much more gratitude for all the things I was doing.  There was no more reciprocal expectations attached to what I was doing for others.

It was so important for me to learn that my NO was ok.  Just as others have the choice to do for me or not, I have the choice to do for others.  I can say no and sometimes I need to say no.  I need to choose me first.  My no is part of me and I get to use it when I want to.  I owe it to myself and others to use my no when that is what I want and it makes my yes that much more juicy and valuable.

So what if we are rejected, judged or not listened to because of our no?  I get it.  That can be a fearful, uncertain place.  This is where the choice between making yourself or others happy comes in.  In my last Blog I talked about making boundaries.  Your No is a boundary.  Your no is you letting others know where the line is.  Again, you come to the place where you need to make a decision about what compromises you are willing to make.  Personally, I think the fear we encounter when speaking our no is frequently bigger than the risk that is actually present.  So I dare you!  Use your no!  You deserve it!

What to do when boundaries aren’t respected!

Recently I wrote a blog about setting boundaries.  If you missed that one, scroll down and take a look.  Someone asked me “but what do you do if your boundaries aren’t respected?”

(Breathing Deep)  That can be difficult.  For the most part, when I am going to go through the process of making a boundary with someone it is because they are important to me and if they are that important then there is a very good probability that I respect that person.  So when I make a boundary and the person will not respect my boundary, it leaves me in a tough spot.

I know in reality that I can only control myself.  I cannot make anyone do anything that they don’t want to do or agree to.  Making a boundary is asking someone to do something for you and there is a hope or expectation that the request will be respected.  When my boundary isn’t respected I need to make boundaries with myself.  I need to ask myself some hard questions that will determine how I proceed in the relationship.

I need to decide what the boundaries I need to make with myself are.  How important is this boundary to me?   What compromises can I make without compromising my needs or myself?  What am I willing to put up with in my life?  How much does this boundary crossing affect my life?  Is my boundary asking them to take care of me or just not hurt me?

There may be times where I discover that the boundary I was trying to make was actually asking someone else to take care of me.  It is not anyone else’s job to take care of me but I can ask that they support me in taking care of myself.  In this circumstance it is helpful for me to look at what I need from them in support without making my self-care their responsibility.

If the boundary crossing turns out to not really be affecting me then maybe I choose to accept it.  If the boundary crossing is affecting me and I find that I am not willing to put up with it in my life or I find that I will be compromising myself if I continue to accept the behavior, then I need to make boundaries with myself.  There are many ways this can take shape.  I may decide that there are certain situations where I will not show up to be with that person.  For example, if my best friend continually behaves in a way that I am not comfortable with when we go out for dinner together I may decide to not go out for dinner but still see her at one of our homes or maybe we can meet for coffee.  Or, if a family member has a problem with drinking excessively I can make a boundary that I will choose not to be with them when they are drinking.

There are different ways we can make boundaries with ourselves.  The most important thing to remember is that we always have a choice.  You get to choose what behaviors you allow in your life and you get to choose what you show up for and how you show up.

This brings me to “NO!”   No can be a powerful word in making boundaries.  I think I know what my next blog is going to be about.

I Get To!

As I build my coaching business and more people hear about me I seem to be having the same conversation over and over.  I have found that I love having this conversation!  I love talking about what I can do for my clients.  I love seeing my clients have breakthroughs that transform their lives!  So I decided to dedicate this blog to just that, what I Do.

I collaborate with my clients to transform their lives!

To me this is so exciting.  I get to go on the journey with people and we dive deep, look at all the icky underbelly of behaviors, clean away the goop and swim back up to the surface and shine as bright as the sun.  WHAT COULD BE BETTER?  I get to work with amazing people so they can become all of their fabulous selves.  Really I am sitting here with a huge smile on my face because I feel so blessed to be able to do this.

Through my life I have had some struggles and I have a health issue that affects my life and there is nothing that I can do to change it.  This is my life; this is the only life I have and I GET TO live it! I look at most things from this perspective of ‘I get to.’   No matter what is going on, I know if I choose to, I can find something amazing and wonderful to get out of a situation.

One of the things I’m great at helping my clients with is transforming perspective. In my personal life, I focus on gratitude and positivity.  This focus changes my perspective and gives me the ability to help other people to see things as “my cup runneth over,” instead of limiting it to “half full” or even “half empty”.  Some of the tools I use for this are simple things like recognizing hidden gifts in difficult lessons, recognizing positive aspects in negative situations and finding the personal power to change things.

I am a strong believer in looking into the shadows, those parts of ourselves that we deny and/or hide, in order to find where our blocks and issues come from.  There are some people who only look at the positive and think it is the best way to get through things.  For me, however, I find that in order to truly overcome things in my life I need to look at the root of the problem.  It is there, at the root, from which everything else grows.  In the darkness is where I find my behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that keep me stuck.  If I only look in the light I will not find the source of my problems so I will not be able to fix them.

In my personal life, I repeatedly ask myself ‘where does that come from, and where does that come from and where does that come from….’  I follow the rabbit down the rabbit hole.  I examine the self-talk that keeps me limited and in my own way.  Through examining these messages I ask myself what these messages say about me, where they originated from and then I ask myself if they are true.  Let me tell you, there are times when I find things that are true and are not so flattering.  Then, I GET TO change behaviors.  I get to take this new information I have about myself and find out what needs to happen with it in order to get better results.  I do this work myself and because of that I get to use the same template with my clients so they can do the same thing.

Another thing I love to do with my clients is…CELEBRATE!!!!!!  I like to start coaching calls with some celebration.  I want to hear about the things that my clients want to celebrate about themselves.  I think we sometimes look at saying wonderful things about ourselves as boastful or conceited.  Personally, I don’t think it is conceited to acknowledge your strengths and achievements.  When a business takes an inventory they look at their assets and liabilities.  If we take an inventory of ourselves, why do we only look at the negative and not the positive?  When we do that we are not getting a full picture of who we are, so, YES!  Celebrate yourself!  See all the things that you are amazing at.  Acknowledge your strengths and all the ways you excel.  Remember that even when you have a small success it is a success nonetheless.  You are growing, becoming, living and as long as you wake up breathing you GET TO continue to succeed.

This is what I do.  I look on the bright side, I look at the dark side and I celebrate.  In the movie Hook, one of the characters says, “That was a great game.”  No matter what is going on, when I go to bed knowing the day “was a great game,” I go to bed happy.   I hope that through reading this you may have found some little nuggets of gold that will help you in some area of your life.  I hope you have learned a little about yourself and a little about me.

Please feel free to comment below and ask any questions or leave any remarks.