After many years of learning how to set boundaries, when to speak up or rather listen I have learned that there were few approaches I have used that helped me tremendously in situations when I wanted to take a decision, set boundaries or act differently than I would normally do.
Sometimes it is not even about saying something but about particular behaviour where we like to say “no” or express what we believe in. Action or lack of it goes many times further than words.
- Believe in your ability to carry the consequences of saying “no”
Sometimes we are scared of saying “no” because of what the other person may think of us if we do so or because it is not in accordance with the social norm or simply because it is a new situation for us and we have always said “yes” in the past so we want to avoid the feeling of being rejected. In such cases I would like to challenge you to try it, to say it out loud, send that email with “no” answer and see what happens. Does it sound like too much? Maybe but also it could be that the worry we hold about the consequences is not realistic because we have created in our mind these possible scenarios that are holding us back. So close your eyes, get centred by taking a couple of deep breaths and just say “no” where you feel or think you want to say so.
- Decide once considering long-term versus short-term benefits and losses
Every decision we make has a short-term and long-term impact, whether it is what we are going to have for dinner or which house or flat to buy. The more we are aware of what we want and need in life the better decisions we are able to take. Most of our decisions are run by our subconscious mind and that’s why it is so important to have clarity of what we want in life. By allowing yourself to consider long-term and short-term impact, the decisions are very different. So if you want more success and happiness in your life, take more long-term decisions and give yourself long-term gratification.
- Write it down or talk about it with someone you trust.
If you hesitate, take your time and write it down, put the thoughts on the piece of paper or in your notes online. Alternatively, you can discuss the decision with a trusted person like your partner, family member or friend to seek their perspective but be aware that their point of view may be different than yours or because of the new piece of information you would learn from them so your decisions may be changed so stay connected with what you believe in.