A colleague recently said “No is a complete sentence”. Do you have the capacity to say “No” to others; friends, parents, children, co-workers? I know my answer…not really. Especially when that person is a significant other for me. So what am I afraid of? Hurting feelings, not being a “dutiful daughter”, risking being identified as “uppity”?
Sometimes the habit of not speaking our truth comes from a fear of punishment, or being perceived as “out of line”. Depending upon your upbringing and the unconscious messages you received from authority figures to mind your place, the ability to make a change and actually speak up is ALMOST impossible. The habit is very strong, and your nervous system may be triggered by times long ago instead of now.
So learning to say, either literally or energetically, “This is my limit” could potentially take you into a stress pattern that you aren’t even aware of. The ramifications of this can limit your leadership potential, and your ability to speak your truth, that goes to the core of your old, younger self, and leaves you bereft of managing your life and business now.
So what to do about it? Well, one of my coaches says learn to take opposite action. In other words start to do the thing that goes against habit. If you are used to not speaking up, then try it. If you never say “no” and end up doing things that you don’t want to do or that drain your energy, then try that on for size. No. (Complete sentence). This is my limit, I won’t do that for you. And see how that feels!
You might have to take a breath and count to ten because it feels so unnatural and wrong, but after the pause, maybe the other person will say OK. Just OK. Maybe then they might have to do the thing for themselves.
There are always going to be push-overs and manipulators. My mother in law, rest her soul, was a major manipulator. I really don’t know how she did it exactly. We all know someone like that, who gets their way because you are willing to cave. They actually expect that. They know you aren’t going to say anything, and just suck it up, remaining in your comfort zone by not confronting.
So what if you try some “opposite action” this week. What if you do the thing that is uncomfortable, hold the boundary, and speak your truth? Remember that if you can do this, you can then feel a full “yes”. Why? It makes you feel your authenticity; it makes you feel stronger in your heart. If you are scared to say “no, this is my limit” ask yourself where you feel that in your body.
Here is a brief exercise: Allow yourself to hold a boundary by literally or energetically saying “no”, and then take a moment to pause and notice where you are feeling that in your body. Go to that place within and just breathe with it. Then say to that part; Hello, I see you, I feel you. Ask what that place in your body would want you to know. Just listen. I guarantee that some feelings will emerge…shame, fear, sadness, loneliness. A feeling that you had to be too nice at the expense of your well being. Maybe discouraged from caring for yourself. Maybe you were afraid to be seen for the person you are, that you somehow don’t deserve to have this clarity and conviction, that your voice doesn’t count.
But that is not true. You do deserve. You are worthy of knowing your own truth. Others can fend for themselves, and it is not your job to take care of their needs.
Hi I am Diane, a Spiritual Wellness Coach. If you think you could use some support and coaching from me, just go HERE and book some time with me! I would love to talk with you.