Learning how to say “no” is incredibly important and for many different reasons.
If you have trouble saying no to people, they will continue to take advantage of your willingness to help.
If you have trouble saying no to unhealthy food, it will continue to play a significant part in your diet.
If you have trouble saying no to the thoughts which convince you to take the easy way out, you won’t be making any headway any time soon.
To change your situation, I’d suggest you pick one area that you’d like to learn how to say “no” in and:
- Identify the situations where you normally give in to what you’d like to be able to avoid
- Brainstorm as many possible solutions to these situations as you can
- Use your self-awareness to catch yourself in the moment and then use one of the solutions you came up with earlier
For example, if your co-worker regularly ropes you into helping them to do work that you shouldn’t be doing, you might explain that you currently have too much to do and that they should ask your manager for direction or extra resources. This is much easier to do when you have already planned out your response, practised it in your head and visualised how it could pan out.
And don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t work 100% of the time right at the start – it takes time to build up boundaries for these kinds of things. Build up your strength slowly over time!