Life coaching : saying no!


Do you constantly want to please others? Are you the type of person who will always agree with someone? Do you tend to avoid conflict and will do anything to make people like you? Are you afraid of someone not agreeing with what you have to say?

Fear of rejection
Many people, women especially, have a hard time saying "no". They fear rejection and isolation from others. It is easier to agree with someone or to do what they want, than to face a negative response. To keep from disappointing others, women (and men) do things they know they shouldn't. They tend to put their thoughts, feelings, opinions and health aside for the sake of others. Keeping quiet when a conflict arises( to maintain peace) or agreeing to a project that no one else wants to do, just to be "liked", is a very common trait.

The affect on self-esteem
What does all of this agreeing and saying "yes" do to someone's self-esteem? Their self-worth? Their identity? Do you think it strengthens it? Does it improve it? Does it make a person stronger? It most certainly does the opposite! When you continually give in to the wishes of others, and it is at your expense, your frustration grows deeper and your self-esteem drops!

How happy is someone constantly living a life like this? What choices does a person have to help them get out of this prison?

Personal speaking
I dealt with this very same issue a few years ago. Growing up I wanted to please everyone. I loved the attention I received by saying "yes". I thrived on the positive comments about how great I was for "helping out" or "staying late" or "taking the time" to do something. The praise was great!! However, after a while, I was known as the person people asked to do things they didn't feel like doing. They knew that I wanted to please everyone and that I rarely said "no".

The curse of the "Yes" woman
The curse of saying "yes" followed me through my adult life. Once again, I was trapped and didn't know how to get out! I was saying "yes" to so many things that my health was suffering , I wasn't making time for myself, my self-esteem was plummeting, I truly felt like a hamster running on an exercise wheel, going round and round with no way out!

A good friend of mine finally opened my eyes to how I as acting and what I was doing to myself. I stopped and listened to her and decided to search for help. I sought help from a coach and began to change the way I handled certain situations. I began changing my behavior, my self-image and reactions to certain situations. I was amazed at how the tools I had learned had actually worked the first time I tried them! I was shocked to see how my life started to change!

Hints and tips
What can you do that will help you become more assertive? Here are a few suggestions:

• Make sure you know where you stand on an issue. Do you want to say yes or no? If you aren't sure, simply say "I need some time to think it over , I will get back with you on Monday." That way, you do not have to give an answer right away and it gives the person a definite time to hear back from you.

• Be as brief as possible. Simply state "no" and give a quick reason why. Refrain from giving long, elaborate responses.

• Slow down! Think before you respond. When you are ready to make a statement, think about the words you are going to use and how you will get your point across as assertive as possible.

• Plan ahead. If you know you are going to confront someone or a situation, plan what you will say in advance. Close your eyes and think about how you will respond. Play the conversation over in your head. What will the person say? How will you react?

• Stand tall! Be aware of your body language. Hold your head high, breathe deeply and feel confident. Letting your head drop, or gazing at the floor while talking to someone can give a negative impression.

• When declining or telling someone "no" and they seem upset or taken back, validate their feelings by stating, " I know this will be a disappointment to you but I won't be able to …"

• If a person is persistent to your "no", it is not necessary to come up with a new explanation each time. Just repeat your "no" calmly and your original reason for declining.

• If you are caught off guard and are asked to do something or go somewhere and you don't particularly want to, say " I wish I could , however I have an appointment." Saying with who you have an appointment with isn't necessary.

These are just a few ideas to take with you to get you on your feet. Many times the fear of saying "no" is partnered with feelings of low self-esteem, lack of self, lack of focus, and failing to meet personal goals. If this describes you, I would recommend getting assistance, like I initially did, to help you get a clear vision on what you truly want for yourself. Talk to a friend, a counselor or hire a coach, like me, who can help you pave a path to the life you have always wanted! The important thing is to take action and to have a plan in place!

Additional information
Stress busters
Breathing techniques for relaxation
Time management hints and tips



Print Email Favourites    

© 2000-2014
All information on this website is for information only. offers no medical advice or information. Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise