How to say NO like a Priestess
If you want more time in your life, you’re going to have to learn to say no. If you feel like you need more time, it means you’re not getting good value for the time you’re spending doing the things you do.
You need to cull your commitments so that you have space to do the things you DO want to do. You are the genius behind your life – you know exactly how it needs to be. Your feelings are guiding you – that feeling of overwhelm, stress or discontent is a pendulum nudging you to get back into balance.
Whether that’s spending more time with your kids, or spending LESS time with your kids. Whether you want to work more, or work less. If you want to do more of this kind of thing and less of that. It doesn’t matter what you choose – you know what is going to fill you up the most, and what is creating too much drag.
To make more time for the things you love, you need to get rid of stuff. Hands down. You need to master the art of saying “No”.
Why you hate saying NO
- You’re scared of missing out.
Missing out on connection. Missing out on belonging. Missing out on an exciting time. Missing out on a chance to expand and grow.
Know this: you almost always get another chance, if not in that guise, then in another form.
And if you say “yes” when you mean no, you’re missing out anyway.
- You believe other people (including your kids) are more important than you.
You have to put your own oxygen mask on first. Self care isn’t selfishness, it’s responsibility. Garden your little piece of heaven. Why are George’s atom’s more important than yours?
You will be more of a blessing when you put yourself first.
- Your “no”a wasn’t fully supported as a child.
Saying no runs the risk that other people will be upset, put out, let down, or even angry. Finding a strong, healthy no is a lot about processing these feelings. Listening Partnerships are a great free tool which will enable you to do this – you get together regularly with another adult and take turns to release those feelings, using a great set of ground rules to keep the space safe.
Saying No Is Abundant
(and you usually get another chance to say yes)
When you say no to one thing, you’re always, always ALWAYS saying yes to something else. Always. You’re opening up space, time and energy for something you want even more – even when the thing you’re saying no to was pretty good! It’s very rare that a door closes 100% for ever after, Amen. (Hallelujah for that!)
My 5 top tips for saying no:
Paint your vision: what are you prioritising?
“I am spending more time with my family right now, so I can’t say yes”
“I’m really excited about building up my blog, so I need more down time so I can be fresh when I work”
Be honest about your current limits:
“I’m actually finding it really hard to keep smiling at the moment, I think that would be too much for me right now”. “It’s incredibly difficult to stay on top of the kids’ behaviour when we go to …… so I’m going to pass.”
They don’t have to be wrong.
When you feel uncomfortable saying no, it is very, very easy to justify your no by making them wrong. Separating the request from the response is a big part of getting your no juicy and strong. Even if someone is out of line in your opinion, don’t go there. Own your no, and make it about you, every time. It’s cleaner, and you’re far less likely to get drawn into a tangle.
You don’t have to be angry.
Anger can also be a way of surging past the discomfort of saying no – it’s the only way you can summon the courage. But it means that your no’s carry a wake of destruction behind them, and they get reserved for “special occasions” when really they ought to be a routine part of life – who can say yes to everything?!
Love their need – and still say no.
If you’re a bit of a mama to all the world, it’s easy to get caught saying yes too many times. Even to your kids! (And I’m in favour of saying yes to kids a lot.) You want everyone to be ok! And you can’t make sure everyone is ok!! Even your loved ones! Once you get to grips with this, it becomes a lot easier to say no.
The most powerful way to say no, the one which leave you feeling clean, and other people respectful of your no, is as follows. “I really get that you need xxxxx. I wish that I could help you, I’d love to see you acheive/feel/do xxxxx. AND it simply can’t do that for you right now.”
How I prepare to say “No”.
I prep my no’s in advance. Sometimes a simple “No” is enough, but it can take quite a lot of preparation to be able to say no kindly, firmly, without feeling upset or causing too much upset the other end.
A strong no doesn’t come out of thin air. There are 5 distinct stages to a good no. You can download the process I go through here. The more you practice the five stages, the easier it gets. With big no’s, but also with the little ones.
Life is made of of hundreds of tiny decisions each day. You want to stack up a lot of yes’s in your favour – so getting better at the little no’s will make a big difference.
Download “The Five Stages of Saying No” right now, and start making more space for the things you love.
How do you say no? Do you find it easy? When do you find it hard? I’d love to hear about your relationship with saying no – and what you’d like to say yes to more!