How To Say No To Things You Don't Want To Do

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It’s Sunday, a little over a week until my next trip to Bali and I’ve just gotten back from an epic Kundalini yoga class at my fave Yoga Ground here in Auckland. I plan to do a lot of yoga while I’m in Bali so have been easing back into it. In all honesty, I can count on one hand the number of classes I’ve taken since my last trip to Bali last August.. I tend to dip in and out of it. And right now my focus has been on F45 and walking my dogs.

Earlier this week I was given an incredible opportunity with an all expenses paid trip to Fiji to run some workshops with a well-known online fitness community. I was flattered and excited at first, but the more that I thought about it and looked into it the less aligned it felt to me personally, and to my brand. So I slept on it for a couple of days - as I tend to do - and I went back today and said “no”, that it wasn’t for me.

I wanted to share this with you as it’s something I get asked a lot, and it’s a key component of my coaching methodology - becoming comfortable saying no to things (and jobs and people) that aren’t fully aligned. (And first figuring out what alignment actually is.. which you can do in my online program - All In Alignment.)

This time around it was a fairly quick and easy decision to make, since I have developed such a deep trust with my internal guidance system these past couple of years. But it certainly wasn’t always this way!

Saying no to things was something I battled with for a lot of my life, and it’s something that I see being far more prominent amongst women. By nature, we don’t like to let people down or upset others, and on a subconscious level we are forever trying to protect ourselves from not being liked. Sound familiar?

On the course of my journey I’ve said no to job offers, to friendships, to men, and other opportunities. When you have your own business—and that business is YOU— it’s even more important that you have a really clear idea of what your vision and values are, and hone your intuition so that you are making decisions that will positively impact your brand.

Read on for my tips on how to say no..

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Here are some simple tips to make saying ‘no’ a whole lot easier.

  1. Get clear on your beliefs, your values and your goals. Once you know what is a hard YES in your life, you’ll more easily recognise anything that doesn’t match that as a hard NO. (I once had quite a public disagreement with another coach on the ‘if it’s not a fuck yes it’s a fuck no’ narrative, which I still firmly stand by. She doesn’t). It doesn’t matter what you stand for, just stand for something. And always be working towards something, with clear intention. Intention minus excuses equals action.

  2. When making a choice on something, ask yourself “If I say yes to this thing, is it coming from soul or ego?” Sure, a trip to Fiji would have been GREAT for my ego, but it wasn’t aligned to my business mission and vision so it had to be a NO. If I had have ignored my intuition and gone to Fiji, you can bet the Universe would have put a whoooooole lot of obstacles in my way to remind me to always trust my intuition. I see this time and time again.

  3. By saying no to something that isn’t congruent you’re creating space to welcome in something that is. No actually means Next Opportunity. Do not settle out of fear of never getting another (better) opportunity. Manifestation happens when your self-worth is aligned to what it is you want. This is where people get the law of attraction wrong; they spiritually bypass the shit out of everything by thinking ‘if I’m just happy and positive and I write down my affirmations in my journal, I’ll get everything I want.’ But that’s not how it works. Manifestation is an inner game as much as it is an outer game. You need to shift your vibration and your self-worth to that of someone who is DESERVING of the thing you’re trying to manifest. Try it and see.

  4. Hone your intuition and LISTEN. A women’s intuition is such a powerful gift, but one that we are programmed from childhood to ignore. “Get a corporate job; it’s safe”. “Marry the guy that ticks most of your boxes; better than ending up alone.” “Save all of your money.” It’s no wonder that we spend most of our twenties and thirties unpacking and unpicking everything we’ve been programmed to believe about the world since birth. Develop your intuitive gifts and listen to the sold nudges and messages you get. This is your Higher Self guiding you home.

  5. It’s all in the delivery. Always come from a place of gratitude and try not to make it the other person (as human instinct on the receiving end of a rejection will be to jump in and defend). My email back to the Fiji opportunity went something like this “thank you for this incredible opportunity, I’ve thought about it and looked into it again and I don’t feel like it’s fully aligned to me and my brand. Here are some suggestions of people who might be better suited.” Or if you find yourself needing to end a friendship you might say “We have had some incredible memories together, but right now I feel like this friendship isn’t fully serving me or you so I’m choosing to step away from it.”

  6. Saying no is the ultimate form of self-care. And we don’t need to apologise for saying no either (women, listen up). The amount of times I said yes to going out clubbing and drinking, when I was not about that life, I kinda wish I could get those years and the associated anxiety from socialising back. My modus operandi would be: begrudgingly say yes to the invite; spend all week regretting saying yes; pull out at the last minute with a lame, false excuse; and then feel guilty for another week for lying/being a bad friend. Avoid the anguish altogether by simply saying ‘thank you, but it’s not for me.’ No lengthy reasons why. No explanations. If you’re authentic and your friends are aligned to that, they won’t get upset with you.

I hope that this was helpful. Let this be your permission slip to choose you, and to say no to things you don’t want to do. If there’s something you’re battling with saying no to (a family member, perhaps!?) let me know in the comments below, or shoot me an email and let me know how I can help.

Anna Squelch

Auckland