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Saying "No!"

Saying "No!"
Saying "No!"
Saying “No!”

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to talk about the importance of learning to say “No!”

First a quick update:

Listen to the interview I gave on “Overcoming Fear” (Annie Jenning’s PR)

Listen to my tips on “Easing Holiday stress and insights into the male and female traits that create hurt, pain & depression” on Sally Jessy Raphael’s syndicated radio show. Click here to listen my radio interviews.

Read my list of the “Top Ten Celebrity Meltdowns of 2007” in The New York Observer

Listen to my 20-minute interview on how to “Survive the office party -and get ahead” 

Read my article for and  “Is it Cheating?” 

Now let’s talk about why it is critical to learn to say “No!”

Studies reveal that by age three, the average child has been told 353,000 times “No!”   Of course, there are many examples whereby parents need to tell a child “No” when it relates to safety, guidance and basic morals & values. However, the constant daily repetition of being told “No” has primarily a negative result: The child grows up with numerous crippling fears and the inability to express him/herself physically, mentally, emotionally, affectionately, artistically, creatively, joyfully, verbally, etc.

The irony is that although as a child we have been told 353,000 times “No”, instead of repeating the word “No” to others, we become a “yes-person”, often giving into other people’s requests, needs and demands against our own wishes. The irony is that once we become a parent, we will then use the same method to raise our child – with 353,000 “No’s.”

Sadly, as adults we tend to find it so hard to say “No” to others – even when it clearly involves things we do not want to do or something we do not want to be.

Why do we do that?

We say “Yes” in order to get the love, acceptance and approval of others – our family, friends, peers and business colleagues. We want people to like us and we fear that if we say “No”, they might get annoyed with us, criticize us, humiliate us or say something horrible to us, or maybe they won’t want to talk to us anymore; maybe we just want to avoid confrontation and “keep the peace.”

Either way, the result is that we rob ourselves of joy, happiness and even success.

How is it possible to feel good about yourself when you are saying yes but you truly want to say no? How is it possible to enjoy life when you are constantly worrying about what others will think of you and constantly changing to please the whims and personalities of six billion people? Instead of being happy and alive, you wind up feeling lost, weak, lethargic, taken advantage of, out of control, confused, helpless, powerless, insecure, ashamed, foolish, depressed, frustrated, frantic, insignificant or worthless. You will also feel that you have no sense of who you truly are because you are spending so much energy trying to be what others want you to be. And for some people the fear or inability to say “No” can lead to major regrets: sleeping with someone you don’t want to, continuing in an unhealthy relationship, taking drugs or engaging in dangerous or illegal behavior.

The irony is that we fear rejection and so we do what we feel others expect us to do, and yet ultimately these same people reject us because we are not true to ourselves, and it is not possible for us to be consistent when we change for each person. Further, the extraordinary paradox is that when we stop seeking other people’s approval we will actually receive it. Why? Self-confidence, conviction, integrity, and strength of character are huge magnets to other people because they inspire and make others feel safe. We like people who know who they are, what they want and stick to it. We like people who are consistent and congruent.

Please understand that I am not encouraging pure selfishness, thoughtlessness or the breaking of the law. There are obviously some situations where you may need to say “Yes” even though you wish you could say “No” e.g. public rules and laws, traffic lights, tax, personal and professional commitments and responsibilities, etc. The key here is to recognize that we always have a choice! And for every choice there are consequences.

Remember also that you cannot control what others think of you and you will never be happy living for other people.

Next week, I will talk about how to say “No” and how to make it a comfortable part of your vocabulary.

Start now to be true to yourself and change the way you think and feel for the better. Use my hypnosis CD, “Feel Good About Yourself -and be more confident” .

Remember to check out my Blog on my website to read my past Success Newsletters, post your comments and take a few exciting quizzes. If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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