The Art of Saying No

Can we talk about something? The word no. Some days it makes you feel empowered, others like the world's worst person. How can one word have so much control over how we feel and act? As a business owner, when you're first building your client list you want to say yes to every demand. 8:00 pm appointment even though we close at 7 - hey girl sure, I’m flexible. Employee needs an appointment covered for the third time this month? Sure why not. 

Why are we so quick to say no to caring for ourselves but so quick to say yes to appease other people? Because saying no is an art form. It is a skill that is learned by practicing. Saying no to ourselves is easier because we can manage our own expectations.. But when someone confronts you about their feelings when you say no to them? Well that is hard. So how do you learn to say no? To find that happy balance?

You Accept There Is No Balance

Did I trick you there when we said happy balance? Yeah some days I delude myself too. When you say no, someone is ALWAYS going to be uncomfortable or upset or whatever it is they want to feel. You need to accept that. Accept that as a business owner when you put boundaries in place, you may lose customers. But the thing is, those people who can’t learn to respect your boundaries? THEY ARE NOT YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER. Do I need to scream it louder? Let them go. Employees who don’t want to partake in the team environment with your healthy boundaries? Byeeee. Not worth it. It’s not worth your mental energy constantly appeasing people. 

Start Small

You can’t go for the gold without some training first. Start small. Friend wants to meet up but your anxiety is through the roof today and you can’t show up for her and yourself at the same time (hi real life example from me) - say 

“I can’t today. I struggle with anxiety and I just don’t think I can give you the attention you deserve”

Not only are you being vulnerable and breaking down walls but you are putting a vote into caring for yourself first before you help others). By starting with the tiny nos, you will feel empowered to stand up for the big ones. Keep practicing. Put your boundaries in place and stick to them. Know what you will and won’t accept and fight for that. 

Deep Breaths

When you start this journey of saying no, people may be upset. They may ask why. Take a deep deep breath and move on. You are on this journey to better yourself. To heal yourself. To give yourself the time and space you need to be the best version (and business owner) as possible. Know that conflict or guilt or questions are unavoidable but breathe through them anyway. 

Pick Your Battles

Listen, if you want to go all no happy, I’m not going to stop you - it’s your life. But just because you are committing to clearing out space and start saying no doesn't mean every battle is worth having. Do I enjoy handing my husband tools as he builds things because it’s bonding? No. But I do it anyway because I love him. Does he enjoy watching romantic Hallmark movies with me? No I am pretty sure he’d rather do ANYTHING but that. But those are not battles that we want  to fight. 

Say no and set boundaries but give a little too. Saying yes will have that much more impact and you’ll take it seriously. 

Have a crazy experience with saying no? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published