How easy it was to refuse food we didn’t like or things we didn’t want to do when we were young. We just simply said: NO!!!

Later on we learnt how to express ourselves in a more (socially) acceptable way and many times we tend to forget to say no. How much easier our lives would be if we could say again no easily like when we were younger. I am not saying of course to start screaming and throwing toys on the floor. Neither to start shouting, so everyone can hear us: NO! I am thinking on the ability to be able to refuse anything which is disadvantageous for us without feeling guilty about it.

I invite you to start a learning process to be able to say no without guilt. I’ll describe the process in the first part of the article and I’ll share practical methods which you can use on the spot in the second part of the article.

woman wearing teal dress sitting on chair talking to man
Photo by Jopwell on

The Basis of Everything: Self-Awareness

You may have heard it thousands of times, but the base of everything is self-awareness. It is worth to understand what are the situations in which you are comfortable and where are your limits? What is that is still OK for you? It is important to understand your needs and feelings. How do you feel yourself and what can cause it? Continuous self-reflection can help you to understand it.

Being Aware of Your Goals

If we understand our needs and boundaries, the next step is clarifying our goals. Stephen Covey suggests to start with the important things first, so tell me, what is important for you? Don’t forget that 1 day consist only of 24 hours even for you. If you always please others, you won’t have time for the important things.


Image by free stock photos from from Pixabay 

Writing a diary is a quite practical method, but I rather consider it as part of the learning process. Writing a diary can help us to be more aware of a certain behaviour. After deciding to learn to say no more easily, let’s start paying attention to ourselves and make notes about our behaviour.

  • What were the situations when we felt like saying no?
  • What did we feel exactly?
  • What were our thoughts?

It is not worth to overthink the diary. Anything is good enough where you can collect your ideas. A post-it, your mobile phone, a piece of A/4 paper or a notebook are all equally fine. The best is something which you always have nearby. After observing yourself, look at your notes again. What connections can you discover? what are the similarities and differences? What kind of situations can you say easily no? When do you experience difficulties? What can be the cause of those difficulties? How could you overcome them in the future?

I collected only a some essential thoughts about the complex topic of saying no without feeling guilty. I’ll share practical methods which you can you come use on the spot in the second part of the article.

If you feel that it is difficult for you to refuse something, go through the steps above. It’s not a problem if you can’t implement everything for the first time. It is indeed a learning process. Contact me either on Facebook or via the contact form here, if you feel stuck.

**Cover photo: Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay**