Our 3 year old daughter has this one down pat! 🙂 Saying No comes to her as easily as eating chips!

So why do we find it difficult to say no at times when we know and feel it is the right thing to do?

For some of us, it might be the fear of letting someone down or making them unhappy, or the fear of coming across as being incapable, ungrateful or selfish, or it might be a desire to keep the peace (spouses – does this sound familiar?!).

When we let our fears drive us in this way and we take too much on or we take on something we don’t want to, the outcome is inevitable –

  • Increased stress
  • Overwhelm/anxiety
  • Fractured relationships
  • Guilt due to competing priorities
  • Frustration at not being able to follow through
  • Resentment/anger
  • Exhaustion leading to sleep issues
  • Illness
  • Lack of self care

And I’m sure there are plenty others I’ve not mentioned!

So here’s the key –

  • Learn to recognise what is enough and manageable for you to deal with. Trying to do everything can be highly stressful.
  • Be honest with yourself and recognise what your limits are.
  • You cannot please everyone. I will repeat this one – YOU CANNOT PLEASE EVERYONE!
  • Do not be afraid to say NO.

So if you have kids, the next time they tell you NO, observe carefully as maybe we can learn a thing or two from them!

I would love to hear from you. Do you find it difficult to say no? If so, why?

Which of these four strategies would you find the most effective for you?