Do you struggle to say No when you need to?
Are you spending too much time and energy doing things you don’t LOVE, because you don’t like saying no?
Would you like a way to set your boundaries that doesn’t feel uncomfortable, shameful or create drama?
Would you like to have more time for yourself, your family and the projects you’re passionate about?
Saying no, setting limits and creating boundaries is so important if you want to consciously choose the direction and shape of your life.
Saying no is what creates time, space and energy for the very things you do want to welcome in.
So why do so many women struggle with saying “No, thankyou”, “Not this time” and “Stop!”?
I think that the struggle with No is actually a direct function of our giftedness as women.
One of the gifts of the feminine is to be immersed in a sense of connection. We thrive on “we”. Our bodies do best when we are full of oxytocin (the connecection hormone). This is a great strength – because we are powerful as a group – but it means a tendency to merge, and to find it difficult to define where my needs end and your needs begin.
Women need boundaries as much as men. The issue is one of balance – when do you surrender to the tendency to merge, and when do you decide to define yourself and your needs by saying “no”?
Boundaries continue to be such an issue for women in today’s culture. I feel that mastering this skill is actually an important part of the initiation process for modern women. (Which is why I made a course which focuses on the topic in great depth.)
More No means More Yes:
Setting clear boundaries is such a powerful manifestation tool. As you let go of what you don’t want, you’re creating space for what you do want. You clear out that energy from your life.
When you finally set a boundary and get done with XYZ in your life, you can stop spending your time thinking about how horrible it is and how much you DON’T want it and how difficult and hard and…… and you can focus on enjoying and calling in what you do want.
Whether that’s more spaciousness. Whether that’s exciting new work projects. Whether it’s more sleep, more time with your kids or with your beloved, saying No is going to get you waaaaaay more yes.
There are actually a couple of very powerful ways you can say no as a woman – and they come from different places. One is essentially masculine, and one is deeply feminine. They both have a place in your life.
The “masculine” no comes from a rational assessment of the situation: you “know” what needs to happen and it makes sense, when you sit down and work everything out. This is the orderly “I need more time for this so I have less time for this” kind of boundary decision. Its the mindset that stays focussed on the goal in hand, and arranges everything accordingly.
Many many women need more of this kind of rational thinking – it’s a great counter to the over-empathising that many of us tend to fall into.
This kind of effective no doesn’t come out of nowhere. You need to know how to prepare your boundaries, and practice! Saying no is a muscle – the more you use it, the more deft you become. And there are simple stages to developing a healthy “no”, whatever kind of situation you are facing.
The “feminine” no, on the other hand, doesn’t wait around to weigh things up.
While I take great joy in coaching women to develop that solid, masculine approach to boundary setting, its actually the feminine no which has been most damaged in our culture. This is kali, mother bear, the raging thunderstorm “YOU SHALL NOT PASS”. The wildness of this kind of boundary is almost absent in our culture and alien to most of us…. except we all know her deep down. Closing off her voice is one of the reasons we drink, overeat, and otherwise stuff our bodies and feelings up.
The route to unlocking this powerful feminine no – which can be a great consort to the more thought-out boundary – is through the body.
Generally a woman who isn’t sure where her boundary needs to be is disconnected from her body’s feedback look. Once you reconnect with this through simple, kind awareness(it really doesn’t have to be a big catharsis) you’ll find that the choice which seemed so difficult only moments ago now seems simple and light.
Not only do you get better at noticing that feeling – which is your body telling you “say no!” – you also get bolder, quicker and cleaner at delivering the message.
Over time the whole feedback loop gets stronger until you’re creating and welcoming in what you want a lot more swiftly.
There’s gentle guidance on doing this in this audio which you can download for free (I recommend it, link at the bottom of this post!)
What about the Drama?
So what about other peoples’ feelings? Often we hold back from saying no or setting a boundary because we’re worried about what other people will think, or feel, or say. Saying no can bring up ALL kinds of stuff. How do you deal with that?
Taking care of your own feelings is the first stage of ending any drama. And knowing how far you need to take care of other peoples’ feelings.
Letting go of responsibility for other people’s feelings is a huge step in taking back control of your own boundaries.
One of the reasons we get so caught up in this is shockingly simple when you realise it: we want permission from others to say no. Once you let go of this – and truly understand that only you can decide where your limit is – a lot of the drama unravels. You’re not hanging on someone else to bolster you or tell you you’re ok.
And so it becomes easier to let them have their feelings: because you’re future isn’t contingent on their opinion.
I cover all this and more in The Real Superwoman course. Would love to see some of you there! And don’t forget to download the PDF – its got essential info for nailing this.
Let me know what this topic brings up for you – as always, happy to answer your questions in the comments.