So often we say yes to things that we don’t want to do, and then regret it later. We feel guilty for not helping out, or maybe even a little resentful that someone asked us in the first place. Saying no is one of the most important skills you can learn when you want to live your life by your own rules, but it’s also one of the hardest! In this blog post I’ll share with you 3 steps on how to say no without guilt or resentment so you can stop being a people pleaser and start living an authentic life.

1. Say “no” with a smile

When you feel guilt creeping and and the urge to say yes when you want to say no, start with a smile then say “no”. When you smile you send a signal to your brain that you are happy and confident. Say “no” in your head first before verbalizing the word so that when someone asks for something from us we can feel more empowered by our decision instead of feeling like they’re taking advantage or not respecting who you are as an individual! It’s important to remember that saying no is not a reflection of how much we care about the person, it just means this particular time isn’t right for us!

2. Be honest about your feelings and needs

The first step to being clear about your feelings and needs is to slow down and tune in to what you’re feeling. The second step is to be honest with yourself about your feelings and needs, which may take courage and practice! The third important part of being clear on our feelings and needs involves communicating them in a way that’s respectful but firm so the other person can hear us without getting defensive – this takes some skillful conversation skills too. The framework I teach my clients is first state your need for example, I need respect the next piece is to give a clear, direct concise request for example, what I am asking is for you to listen to my feelings until I’m done. All together it sounds like: I need respect, what I am asking is for you to listen to my feelings until I am done, are you willing to do that? If they say yes, share away, if they say no simply ask what are you willing to do that is close to what I am asking and sort it out.

3. Give yourself permission to be imperfect

Ahhh permission! Permission to be imperfect is one of my favorite ways to honor my self worth and enter the practice of saying no while also giving myself some grace when I say yes instead. It’s an imperfect practice, one that is ongoing as we are all always learning new things every day! Before you know it, “no” will come more naturally. Permission is about self-worth, self-care and self love. It’s about honoring who you are, what your needs may be in that moment or situation at hand so it can feel good to say “no” when the time comes! It is also a way of practicing kindness towards others by not expecting them to always meet our needs or expectations because we know they have their own life too.

We all know that we should be more assertive, but it’s hard to get started.

It can be scary to tell someone no or stand up for yourself when you need something but I promise you, its totally worth it, just like you are worth it!

Author's Bio: 

Contessa Akin is a Texas born former jet engine mechanic in the United States Air Force turned self-worth coach and author of Rebel Rising, How I went from wanting to be dead to loving everything in my head. Get weekly tips via her website