Why We Struggle to Say No
You’re at a point where you recognize you need to say no more often. You know that people pleasing is not working out. You’ve realized that even though you can transmute energy for others as an empath, it is draining you. Maybe you’re experiencing mental, emotional, or physical symptoms of too much stress such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, or irritability.
But even when you’re clearly overworked and exhausted, it can still be difficult to say no. Understanding why you’re struggling with this liberating word can be the key to using it more often…
You Don’t Want to Disappoint Others
Many empaths push well past their limits in an effort not to disappoint others. Perhaps you encouraged your kids to sign up for every extra-curricular they wanted to because you weren’t able to participate as a child yourself. Maybe you simply worry that if you tell your co-worker no, they’ll be disappointed and won’t view you as a team player.
But you can’t give what you don’t have. If you try to spend money you don’t have, you have to swipe your credit card. If you try to spend “yeses” you don’t have, you’ll have to swipe the energy and time credit card. As empaths, our energy is our most important commodity. Just like a financial credit card comes with interest, you will have to pay interest on your energy or time credit card. This interest is usually in the form of aches and pains, exhaustion, dread, difficulty with focusing, or constant anxiety. When we are sensitive it means we are more susceptible to burn out. In my own personal experience it took me a year to recover from burnout.
Check out this video below to hear my definition of an empath.
Society’s Messages Are Influencing You
Sometimes, we simply fail to say no because we’ve been programmed not to. We think there’s something noble or honorable about being overloaded and burned out. Consider for a moment how often you hear words like “busy” and “hustle” in a positive sense. Yet words like relaxation and self-care are often associated with slacking off. Imagine how you might feel if the things you actually said YES to were things you really wanted to be doing. What would your life feel like if you let go of those words “busy” and “hustle”?
In order to reclaim your no, you’ll have to reject society’s belief that busy automatically equals good. This can be hard, especially when we can feel those expectations. Sometimes, busy is simply exhausting. Often, busy is anything but healthy. The next time you hear someone say busy, try to replace the word in your mind with overworked. Ask yourself if you really want to be that way.
You Feel Guilty or Selfish
For some people, saying no is a struggle because they feel guilty or selfish if they step back and take the time they need. Maybe you believe you should always be productive or that it’s your job to keep everyone around you happy. This was my life story for the longest time. It was a continual spiral of guilt and shame.
But are these things really true? Do you always need to be productive or will the world continue to go on without you fussing over every little thing? Is it really your job to keep your family and friends happy? Empaths often feel like it’s our job. Since we have the power to transmute the energy – shift things from negative to positive – we learn that it is our job. But it’s really not. We are just creating a dependence on us and over the long term that serves no one. All it does is keep us in servitude.
When will it be your turn for happiness? When will it be your turn for joy?
Once you get clarity around why you struggle with saying no, your eyes are opened. This means you can make different choices, ones that honor who you are and allow you to create the life and career of your dreams.
Maybe you read this and immediately saw the ways in which you can change things. Perhaps you read this and realized that things really do need to change but you aren’t sure where to start.
Better Boundaries for You
If you feel like you are still struggling with your no and you would like some support to shift things – check out my Better Boundaries Package.