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“Why it’s difficult to say NO and set boundaries

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 “I am guided by the wisdom of God in everything I THINK, SAY OR DO. I know how to plan my life and direct my path because God is doing this FOR ME by doing it THROUGH ME. There is no uncertainty or confusion. The divine Spirit always knows what to do and how to do it.” Creative Ideas, Ernest Holmes

Thank you all for writing and thanking me for my “list” of how I kept myself peaceful in last week’s blog. I have followed it and its working. I would like to add a few more things that I have practiced and learned this week. One of them is that I have the right to change my mind – and not feel guilty or apologetic. I am not responsible for another person’s reactions or feelings. I have to do what is right for me by going within and getting in touch with my feelings. My feelings are a gift from God and they will guide me to the next right thing for me to do or be.

I was sharing with my friend, Kati, what I learned about asking for what I wanted and being willing to accept a NO or a YES from the person I asked to do something for me. She immediately said, “Please share what you wrote to me when I said no to your request because it felt so good.” She sent me a text saying, “Apologies for not jumping in today loved one. Needed an unwind day for body, mind and spirit. I will be there with bells on toes for the yard sale. Thanks for understanding.” I knew that she felt badly that she couldn’t help me so here is what I wrote back to her. “Sweetheart, no apologies necessary. Saying YES to yourself is just as important, perhaps more important, than saying YES to me. I respect your NO.”

A NO uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a YES uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” Gandhi

There was a time in my life that I didn’t know how to say NO to others because I wanted to be loved and wanted to please others. I didn’t know how to ask for what I wanted – because I didn’t know what I wanted or what my feelings were. I was passive and expected others to read my mind and know what I wanted. And then I was resentful and angry when they didn’t do what I wanted them to do. I often said YES to a request when I really wanted to say NO because I was afraid of hurting other people’s feelings.

Over the years, I have learned and now teach others how to be assertive and the positive goals of saying no and to say no in a way that doesn’t destroy a relationship. By saying no to demands for your time and energy and inappropriate behaviors, you create the space to the YESES in your life that really matter. You cannot truly say YES until you can truly say NO and stand in your power. Saying NO is saying YES to yourself and protecting what is important to you.

Here are some reasons why it is hard to say NO, speak up, set boundaries and say YES to what really matters:

Fear of not being liked or loved.

Fear of retaliation – if I don’t do this for you, you won’t help me.

Easier to just go along and pretend nothing is wrong.

Don’t want to offend someone or hurt someone.

Don’t want someone to be angry with you.

Don’t want to rock the boat and stir things up – peace at any price (at the expense of your own needs).

You don’t know what you want– fear of facing self and the truth.

You are more comfortable with others making decisions.

You don’t trust yourself that it’s ok to have wants and needs.

You never learned the skills of how to say no.

You are afraid of standing up for yourself.

You are unconsciously attached to being the martyr or victim.

It is easier to stay in denial about a problem because then you won’t have to take responsibility for yourself and what you want.

You don’t want to feel guilty and look selfish.

You don’t deserve to say no. You tell yourself “I should be more loving, available…”

You imagine in advance their reaction, so you say nothing.

Things are good enough as they are and you feel a measure of security in the relationship.

You don’t deserve any better.

The security of the relationship is more important than your own personal fulfillment.

You may feel responsible or made to feel responsible for the failure or unhappiness of others.

Communication is essential to healthy relationships, whether that be with a partner, spouse, child, friend or employer. We need to know how to ask for what we want, how to receive, how to speak up, say no and set appropriate boundaries. Saying YES to ourselves is healthy and self-caring. We not only help ourselves, but we teach others, especially our children how to do this.

If you are struggling with any of the above, don’t know what you want, don’t know how to be assertive and ask for what you want and want help to say YES to what is important in your life, I can help you.

I am offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session. Call me and we will discuss the special package I am offering this month. As a Spiritual Life Coach, I have assisted people deal with issues regarding addictions, grief, transitions, relationships and trauma.

Is it time for you to say YES to yourself and move forward in your life? If not now, when?








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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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