We all know exercise is good. Whether it is for the body, mind, or skills, it is something that has been talked about almost on a daily basis when you scroll through your social media feed.
We also are told that ‘YES’ is something we can’t afford not to say as mom’s and small business owners. We are tricked into thinking that we need to say yes or the clients won’t come, the money will dry up, and our kids will be scarred for not being given the ability to have what they want or express themselves.
Darlings, I am here to say that saying “NO” to our kids and clients is the latest exercise we need to start practicing because it will open our lives up to live a more happy and fulfilled life!
Saying “NO” is not something that is brand new, but it has definitely taken a back seat in today’s society. We can stretch ourselves so thin when we are not able to say no. We all have the pressures to do better in our lives and businesses so the “yes’s” come easier than we probably care to admit and then we can be left exhausted, drained and down right miserable about everything we have committed to.
I have been here. While I am not a momma yet (hopefully it happens soon!) I was working my tail off at an old job while pregnant for the first time. I said yes to more projects than I knew I could take on, but I was terrified if I said no they either they wouldn’t get done “right” or my boss would look at me as a slacker. I would wake up at 7am and work until 7pm without really any breaks and it was the hardest I worked but I was not fulfilled. I knew something had to change and unfortunately my fear of saying no lead to me being over stressed and overworked, and ultimately I ended up miscarrying. This was the lightbulb that pushed me forward to starting my own business and being ok with saying “NO” because I saw just how much saying “YES” all the time can affect us!
The ability to say “NO” is easier typed than done though! It takes practice because it is a conscious muscle you have to build over time. Here are my four proven practices to get you comfortable and saying “NO” with confidence when it suits you:
1. Know Your Worth – When it comes to being a mom and business owner, knowing your worth, whether it’s time, money, or knowledge is a must! Write down on a sticky note what your worth is as a mom and then a business owner and leave it in a visible place. When you realize your worth is being called into question, look back at the sticky and if it is not aligned with it, don’t comprise. Say “NO” with confidence because you already know it won’t be worth it to you!
2. Set Boundaries – This was a big practice for me because I work from home, so when I was working for other companies I never set boundaries for myself at all! As I started to explore this I realized that once I set boundaries for myself, I was way happier with what I was doing. Some things I implemented to practice this in my life was to set a time to “close down” for the day, make client apps for the morning so I could create in the afternoon, and also fully shut down on the weekends. It took time to get comfortable with these because I had to re-program my go-getter brain to be ok with not working constantly. It seriously has been a breath of fresh air to set boundaries, especially because I am now confident enough that when someone wants to break my boundaries to just say “NO”! You do not have to do these all at once, but if you take one boundary you want to set for yourself and practice it, over time it will become part of who you are and not feel like work or that your comprising!
3. Tap Into Intuition – Intuition can be defined as the “gut punch” you feel around a decision or activity you commit to. In real simple terms, it’s our bodies way of telling us that something is just not right. When we turn away and do not listen to our internal gut punch it can lead to us feeling bad about what we just said “YES” to. It can also be a light bulb moment when your internal voice is saying “yes this will work out”. Listening to your intuition will help you make the right decisions for you and it will give you confidence to know when to either walk away or say “NO”. So practice this muscle next time something feels off, sit in that uncomfortable state and see where it leads you! You will feel so much better about everything in your life when you listen to what your gut is telling you over what others are imposing on you!
4. Change The Mindset – We have been programmed to think that we have to say “YES” to it all in order to be a successful business owner and a good parent. Well, that just is not the case. Changing the mindset around this limiting belief is an internal practice that you need to come back to everyday. There is so much noise and advice that can be thrown at us on a daily basis it can be hard to shuffle through it all to figure out what will work for us. When we change our mindset around this it can go from looking like “I have to say “YES” to this client or future clients won’t come” or “I have to say “YES” to my child or he/she will most likely have a tantrum” it can free us from the assumptions/interpretations we have about our situations. You can turn it into looking at the positive impact saying “NO” will have, which could look like this “I can say “NO” because I know they are not my ideal client, which will free up my time to find more of who I want to work with” or “I can say “NO” because I know what is best for my child, tantrum be damned”. These simple mindset changes can have a huge impact on how we live our lives in a more positive upbeat world, than in the “have-to” negative place that can come from saying “YES” all the time.
So get going! Just like yoga, these practices have to be stretched daily in order to receive the maximum benefit that comes with being comfortable with saying “NO” when it is appropriate for you!
If the thought of saying “NO” is stressing you out, I want to invite you to my FREE 5 Day Email Challenge “From Tested to Rested” to get you ready to start exercising saying “NO” with less stress and more confidence!
Nicole is a marketing + small business + confidence coach. She started her career in marketing in 2008 and has evolved as the industry has changed over those years. She loves all things that deal with your brand and getting your message out into the world through the Internet and believes organic authentic content is the way to show who your business really is! She is has a passion for empowering others to achieve their own version of success, as everyone’s journey is their own! She is your biggest cheerleader and loves all things that deal with dogs, coffee and her loving husband.
Contributors to jaclynmellone.com are members of the Chasing Dreams and Littles Incubator.