Learn to say “NO” – listen to your innate wisdom

How do you respond when someone makes a request you’d prefer not to accommodate? Do you find yourself saying yes, even though your authentic self  wants to say no?

Here are some of my ideas, based on the Three Principles, you can use to make sure you don’t find yourself doing something you’d very much prefer not to do.

The question has just been posed. “Will you please do xyz?”    Pause.

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Was your immediate thought that you ought to say yes?  How did that feel?  Did it make you feel nervous, angry, stressed, etc.?

Stop.  Take a deep breath.  What is your intuition or innate wisdom saying to you?  Probably it is saying no.

Saying “no” is hard for many of us.  Guilt often comes into play.  Whether this guilt has its foundation in religion, a proper upbringing, or a worldview that simply says “it’s not nice to say no”, we often recognise it and make decisions we’d rather not be making, based upon it.

You’ve made the decision, based on your intuition or innate wisdom, to honestly say “NO”.

Well, go ahead and say it clearly, and self-assuredly…in the mirror.  Look yourself in the eye, and do it.  Just say “NO.”

Say it like you really mean it, and then say it again as you would to whomever made the request of you.  When you pretend you’re speaking to the person who made the request, does it come out differently?

Practice and experiment with different ways to say “NO” until you find one you’re comfortable with.

Then go, and say “NO.”

After you say “NO”, if you’re used to giving in to others, then guess what? After all that practice, you may just be surprised to find that they are not willing to accept it! They may push, rephrase the question, or make a new, not altogether different, request.

Be prepared for this!  Know your boundaries – what ARE you willing to do?

If you are serious about saying “NO” then stick to your guns.

Tell the individual making the request that you would appreciate it if they respected your wishes, and ask them to refrain from pursuing it further.

You don’t have to justify your response. But if you are comfortable expressing your “reasons why” then do so speaking from your personal perspective.

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Tips on how to say and not say your “NO!”

  • The “Wet lettuce NO”

Saying NO in a quiet, unassuming voice is like a hand shake that is floppy and limp.

  • The “Mr Angry NO”

This is at the other end of the spectrum in how to say NO. Here are a couple of examples:

“NO. I’m not doing that rubbish. You’ve got to be joking aren’t you?”

“NO. I wouldn’t lower myself to do that piece of work”

  • The assertive NO

This is the best way to say NO! In a firm, yet polite, voice say:

“No. I will not be able/don’t want to do that for you”

Also, if you want to say the reasons why, keep it short and sweet.

“No. I will not be able to do that for you. I will be having my hair done at that time”

  • Use effective body language

When saying NO remember the power of non-verbal communications. Look the person in the eye when you say the NO. Shake your head at the same time as saying NO. Stand up tall. Use a firm tone in your voice.

Remember, if your nerve is wavering, you are perfectly okay to say, “Can I think about that and get back to you?”

Don’t be pressurised into giving an immediate answer, even if the delay is only a couple of minutes. It will give you some time to think it through and to gather your thoughts, connect with your innate wisdom. It will also give you some time to think about how you are going to say it, the words to use and your body language.

Practice makes perfect as they say!

Start to say NO more often when you feel it is right to you.

  • You will feel much more confident and proud.
  • You will find that practice makes perfect – the more you confidently say “NO” the easier it becomes.
  • Others will respect your wishes and take you seriously the first time you say “NO.”
  • You won’t find yourself doing things you never wanted to do in the first place.
  • You’ll have more time to focus on the things you do want to be involved in.
  • The list goes on from there…

So, if this resonates with you, and you would like to have a conversation about how coaching with me will work, get in touch today and we can arrange to have a chat to begin finding out where you think you are in your life and how I can serve you.

As Sydney Banks says, “ There is no end or limitation, nor are there boundaries, to the human mind.

I really look forward to hearing from you soon.

Maggie Currie

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Consultant, Coach, Author
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

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Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

Your wedding day – do you have to conform?

I have spent many years helping my hubby out at weddings and wedding fairs.  He is a mobile DJ and does a lot of work at weddings, besides all the usual parties for 18th, 21st, 50th birthdays and of course anniversaries. I have been to hundreds of weddings over the past 10 years.

The wedding industry is huge and caters for everything you could possibly think of to help make your day the best day of your life.  There is something for everyone at the wedding fairs – wedding dresses for brides, suits for the grooms and their entourage, dresses for bridesmaids, outfits for page boys, dresses for mothers of the brides.  There are venues, photographers, videographers, photo booths, florists with fresh flowers, florists with silk flowers, decorations for the tables, balloons for arches, makeup artists, hairdressers, barbers, lingerie suppliers, marquees, tableware, furniture, caterers, waiting staff, bars (either dry or wet), dance floors, bands, discos, karaoke – to name but a few.

And one thing I have noticed over the years is that there is a huge amount of pressure on the brides to conform.  I say the brides, although it could equally be the grooms at a same sex wedding.  In general, wedding fairs are organised and aimed at the brides and the mothers of the brides.  Often it is the mother of the bride who has the expectations for a wedding for her daughter.

There is pressure to have the right wedding dress, the right venue, the right wedding breakfast, the right buffet, the right music, the right wine/champagne, to invite the right people and so on.

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I have attended many weddings where everything is just the same as the last one.  It all happens in the same order –  a bit like a conveyor belt.  Bride and groom come in one end, perform all the ceremonies, appear at top table, make speeches, cut the cake, do first dance, party and then go off on honeymoon.

And the pressure is on for your wedding to be better than the last one you went to.  Or better than your best friend’s or better than your mother’s best friend’s daughter’s wedding.  And so on.

If what I have described is exactly what you want for your wedding, go ahead and do it.  It may be your dream wedding, the one you have been yearning for since you were five years old.  If that is the case, enjoy your day safe in the knowledge that it is exactly what you want.  After all it is your day.

 But does it have to be that way? No it doesn’t. What if you want something more relaxed, lower key, less pressured, more simple or just completely different?

Go for it!

I have attended a couple of weddings where the whole thing was relaxed.  At one the bride and groom wanted to emulate a beach party.  They hired a hall with a piece of land outside.  The bride and groom wore ‘beach wear’ – she was in a smart, summer dress, he was in casual trousers and Hawaiin type shirt.  The men on the top table had straw hats and light jackets.  The rest of the guests were in smart, casual beach wear.  The table decorations were simple with a circular mirror on each which had pebbles and sand on them, a little candle and that was it.  The table names were all referred to something to do with the sea or the beach.  The food was a hog roast outside, the bar was a trestle table stocked with cans, bottles etc., which the guests helped themselves from.  They all had a great time and were relaxed.

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At another reception, the bride wore a very smart, short dress and the groom wore smart trousers and a jacket.  The guests were all in casual clothes, the food and bar were organised by the family and a great time was had by all.

There was no pressure to conform, no pressure to look the same or better than someone else, no pressure to provide the best food.  They had a perfectly relaxed and enjoyable day.

At another wedding, the couple each had children and grandchildren, they wanted them all to be involved and invited them all to be bridesmaids, ushers, page boys and the day was loosely planned, but they went with the flow.  When the little grandchildren wanted to play, they played.  Once the wedding ceremony was completed, the reception carried on in a way that was good for everyone.  All the formalities were completed and the rest of the time, the party went on with everyone involved.

If you want to be married in the forest by a friend, you may have to do the legal bit first in a Register Office, but you can have the ceremony you want, where you want, with whom you want without the need to compare yourself or your wedding to anyone or anybody else’s.

Why not spend the weekend at a vintage caravan site, hire a small marquee, hire some sound gear and speakers, put on the music from your ipod, get some deckchairs, a barbecue and your friends and have a party outside.  Be relaxed, really enjoy the day and the company.

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Invite the people to your wedding who you really want to be there.  If you don’t want Great Aunt Vi to attend, then don’t invite her.  If you want to have a small wedding with only a handful of guests, do just that.  It is your day. No matter what sort of wedding you have, there is bound to be someone you don’t to be there and who you fear you will offend.  Let them be offended.  It is your day – have the day that you want.

Some people go off to another country to get married on the beach.  The couple go without any guests and enjoy the ceremony on their own terms.  But then they have a party when they come back and invite those they want to help them celebrate.  Do that if you would like.  The reception can be as large or as small as you want.

Remember it is your day.  Have the wedding you want, not what somebody else wants.  If you are happy on your wedding day and everything is as you have planned, you will enjoy it so much more, the memories you create will live with you forever.  Be yourself, have what you want and don’t have what you don’t want forced upon you.

If any of this resonates with you, and you would like some help building your confidence and gaining the courage to stand up for what you really want, get in touch with me and we can have a free 15 minute chat.

 

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Coach, Speaker, Author, Survivor
 
Contributor to BBC Radio, Vectis Radio, Susan Rich Radio
Published author and regularly write articles for national and international magazines.
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Find out more about me and my ‘Why’ on my website 

Looking after YOU first.

How do you respond when someone makes a request of you and it really is not something you want to do?

I suspect you try and search for an excuse, such as I am busy that day, I have to wash my hair…..and all these excuses seem very lame to you. And so you say yes, against your better judgement.

BUT, what if you could respond confidently to the request? What if you could say no without guilt?

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The question has just been posed.  Pause.  Were you going to say yes, even though there’s a voice deep down saying “no”?  What possible reasons could there be for saying no?

  • It’s beyond your means?
  • It’s beyond your comfort level?
  • You have no interest?
  • You have to wash your hair?

Identify all the reasons you have for saying “no.”  Identify which stem from a lack of confidence, which would be detrimental to you and which come from a sincere disinterest in fulfilling the request.

What would happen if you said yes?  Perhaps:

  • You would be considered ‘one of us’
  • It would make your friend happy
  • Your visibility with other people may be improved
  • It would make you miserable

Would you feel comfortable with your self if you were to say yes, even though you knew it would not be in your best interests?

Saying “no” is hard for so many of us.  A false sense of guilt often comes into play.  Whether this guilt has its foundation in religion, a proper upbringing, or a world view that simply says “it’s not nice to say no”, we know it is there lurking in the background and make decisions  based upon it, even though deep down, we know it is not right for us.

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So you have made the decision, after scientifically weighing the results of your cost/benefit analysis, to honestly say “NO”.  Practice it in the mirror. Say it clearly and self-assuredly.….in the mirror.  Look yourself in the eye, and do it.  Just say “NO.”

Say it like you really mean it, and then say it again as if you speaking to whoever asked you the question.  When you pretend you’re speaking to the person who made the request, does it come out differently?  Practice and experiment with different ways to say “NO” until you find one you’re comfortable with.

Then go, and say “NO.”

Sometimes, if you have always given in to others,  guess what happens?  After all that practice, getting the tone right and pretending you are talking to the person who asked you the question, you may just be surprised to find that they are not willing to accept it!   They may try to push you to say yes, rephrase the question, or make a new, not altogether different, request.   This is where your personal boundaries come in to play.

Know your boundary—what ARE you willing to do?  Revisit the questions you asked yourself before. If you are really serious about saying “NO”, then stick to your guns.  Tell the person making the request that you would appreciate it if they respected your wishes and boundaries, and ask them not to ask again.  If you are comfortable expressing your “reasons why” then do so speaking from your personal perspective.

If you are going to say NO, you must say it in a way that means NO!  In a firm, yet polite voice with a firm tone.  Also, if you want to say the reasons why, keep it short and sweet.  When saying NO remember the power of non-verbal communications.  Look the person in the eye when you say the NO.  Shake your head at the same time as saying NO.  Stand up tall.

Don’t forget that when anyone asks a question of you, it is perfectly OK to say, “Can I think about that and get back to you”.   No-one should be pressurised into giving an immediate answer.  It will give you some time to think it through and to gather your thoughts.  It will also give you some time to think about how you are going to say it, the words to use and your body language.

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Practice makes perfect as they say!  Remember you must look after yourself first.  This is not selfish, it is a necessity. Practice in the mirror and soon you will:

  •  feel much more confident and proud.
  •  find that practice makes perfect—the more you confidently say “NO” the easier it becomes.
  • Others will respect your wishes and take you seriously the first time you say “NO.”
  • You won’t find yourself doing things you never wanted to do in the first place.
  •  have more time to focus on the things you do want to be involved in.
  • The list goes on from there…

I have learned  how to look after myself first and how to say no without guilt.  I have learned that my boundaries are vital to my day to day living and that once people are aware of those boundaries they respect them and me.  That isn’t to say that I always say no, I know when to say yes and when to say no.

So if you’re looking to finally take control of your life and make a change, why not drop me a line and we can talk it through.

To book in for a FREE 15 minute discovery call please Email me.

 

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Speaker, Author, Survivor
 
Contributor to BBC Radio, Vectis Radio, Susan Rich Radio
Published author and regularly write articles for national and international magazines.
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Find out more about me on my website.

 

Forgiveness – releasing the past

Forgiveness is such an important subject that I feel compelled to spend some time explaining its significance. When we hold something unforgiven inside, we are nurturing anger, hatred and resentment or maybe even guilt. These emotions lock us into the moment, continually reliving events.  Over time all this emotion can become suppressed into the subconscious, but they are still there, consuming our mental and life energy.

Until we release ourselves from this cycle, it may prove impossible to move forward. It really does not matter what the issue was, whether slight or life-shatteringly traumatic. If you want to move on you must let it go. To do this you must forgive. To forgive someone does not mean that that you condone their behaviour simply that you forgive them, and release them. By releasing and forgiving them, you release yourself.

Some people hold onto their anger, refusing to forgive or let go.  They will never move on until they do. In fact, quite the reverse, by allowing such emotions to ferment inside, they grow and can become all consuming, their whole life becoming defined by whatever the event was. They are no longer in control of their life or living the life they want. They are living a life that is directed by their anger and hurt.

How our lives are, is often a reflection of our reactions to the ups and downs of life.  If we choose to accept the good and release the bad, we are able to maintain control over our lives and keep our sense of direction.  If however we  focus on the bad things that have happened to us, then these will simply grow, continually manifesting our own dark thoughts and divert us from seeking what we really want.

If you or your life is “stuck”, then it is well worth looking back to see if there is anything unforgiven in your past.  Remember to forgive everyone, especially yourself.  So many people trudge through their lives burdened with guilt for this or that. Forgive yourself  and let it go.

Remember, life is in the now, the past is already finished and dead and cannot be changed. Nothing you can do now, can ever change the past, yet it is amazing how many people squander their emotional and life energy, consumed with anger or guilt about the past.

In this moment now, you have your power – the power to make your choices, take your action, to make a difference.  You have no power in the past and you have no assurance of power in the future. If you want to feel free, released from the past  then you must forgive.  Forgive everyone, especially yourself.  I know how difficult it is to overcome our natural and very human feelings of anger, guilt, resentment and fear.  The basis of them can seem, and may well be, completely justified, you may be completely right to have these emotions, and it is OK to experience them.  However, these emotions damage your ability to move on, you must accept your emotions, but then be prepared to let them go. To release yourself, you must forgive. Until you do you will remain the victim with your life locked into all those negative emotions.

Look around you, do you know anyone like that?  Some tragedy or injustice has been suffered and now the entire life of that person is defined by their anger and resentment. Every positive thought, every inspired moment, all of life’s little pleasures are subsumed with their overwhelming feelings of anger, resentment, even desire for revenge. No matter how justified their emotions are, what good is it doing them? The past can never be changed. Life is full of tragedy and joy, it is not the events of life so much as how we respond to them that defines how joyous and successful our lives are.

It is time now for you to take action and to really begin to change your life.  Or you could do nothing.  It is your choice. I am coaching people to become the very best version of themselves.

I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.

 

Maggie Currie

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My seminar – what a blast!

On Monday of this week I held a free seminar all about how to have a stress free Christmas.  The people who attended enjoyed it, found it interesting and gave me some wonderful feedback.

I was quite nervous, as I so wanted to get across my main message about having ‘the conversation’ with people to let them know what you are planning for you Christmas, whether that is being at home with your partner, going away to an hotel, inviting people to come to you for Christmas Day but to bring a plate of delicious food with them to add to the plates being brought by others to make a wonderful buffet for everyone.

There were, of course, some people who said they were going to attend who then couldn’t.  So the audience was quite small.  I started on time and made a mistake straight away.  I had been chewing some gum to keep my mouth moist and completely forgot to take it out before beginning my talk.  So there I was, trying not to chew away, but of course not succeeding.

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I went through how people can cook whatever they would like for Christmas dinner.  That could be roast turkey with all the trimmings or shepherds pie or sausage and mash.  Whatever it is that makes you happy.

I mentioned how we learn much our behaviour at Christmas from our parents.  How conditioning may not be intentional but how it works very well.  How your extended family may not want to be dragged away from their newly opened presents to come to you for Christmas, but don’t know how to tell you for fear of offending you.

I told the audience how the subconscious mind stores all your habits and all the stuff we use every day without even thinking.  How we drive our cars without giving a second conscious thought to the process.

The fact that the fear of doing something is often so much worse than actually doing it.  And how to combat those fears.  How our ‘chatterbox’ runs our lives by constantly telling us how we can’t do this, or that.

Festive Woman in Red Santa Hat

I gave examples of my own fears and how I overcame them.

To do lists can be very, very long, and I gave some ideas of how to delegate, dump or simplify the to do list to reduce stress. How my friend had decided a couple of years ago to spend her Christmas day on her own, reading and watching television.  How she didn’t want the traditional Christmas dinner and cooked herself poached eggs on toast and loved it.

I gave suggestions of how to spread the cost of present buying over the year, or getting good deals online.  How people could volunteer to help out the Salvation Army on Christmas Day if they found themselves to be alone but really didn’t want to be.

There was of course lots more, and it all went down very well indeed I thought.  Below is some of the feedback I received:

“Helpful. Made a list as went along. Has made me determined to face some tough decisions.”

“Very helpful. Thank you.”

“I really enjoyed this. I had a stressful day at work today, and a lot of what you said made me think about this situation and I can use a lot of it.”

“Useful advice re ‘The Conversation’. Topic that everyone can relate to and has experienced.”

“Some useful tips on how to prepare for Christmas. Thank you.”

‘I really enjoyed last night, it all made sense, I plan to have the conversation at the weekend.’

I am planning to record the seminar as an audio file with the slides for those people who couldn’t make it and who would still like to listen. Let me know if you would like to download it for yourself.

Maggie Currie 

Creedence – Confidence for You

International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author

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Are you being emotionally abused?

If only I had known there were questions to ask myself thirty years ago, I would have been asking them of myself daily.

I spent many years being emotionally abused by my first husband, my parents, my in-laws.  At the time I was totally unaware that it was happening.

For instance I was advised by my parents to stay in a marriage that wasn’t working because they felt I was too young to make a decision on divorce.  I was treated as a possession by my husband who was obsessed with the idea that I was having an affair whilst out shopping with my three small children.  My in-laws constantly told me I wasn’t good enough to be part of their family.

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But now, after working so very hard to find myself and who I really am, I have thought about what was happening to me and how it affected me.

If I knew then what I know now I would be asking these questions of myself:

  • Am I living my life for me or for someone else?
  • Am I really happy with the way I am treated by other people?
  • Is this all there really is for me?
  • Why do I always feel so miserable?
  • Why don’t people listen to what I have to say?
  • I am doing my best to please everyone, why aren’t they pleased?
  • I have no self-esteem, why doesn’t someone appreciate me for being me?
  • I am going through life in a daze, is there more to life than this?
  • I didn’t sign up for this, why am I being treated like an idiot?
  • Am I invited along just to make up the numbers?
  • Is there a way that I can make my life better?

Do any of those questions have some relevancy to your life today? If they do, even if only a couple of them, then you are being emotionally abused.  You are allowing other people to run your life, and you are allowing them to judge you and make decisions on your behalf.

The answer to the last question is yes, there is a way that you can make your life better.  Start living your life for you.  Don’t allow other people to judge you, you are a person in your own right and deserve to live the life you want.  There is nothing at all wrong with disagreeing with someone who you feel is wrong.  The world won’t end if you move away from people who are causing you misery. If you feel you are being invited along to make up the numbers, then politely refuse the invitation.

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You will find that when you change your attitude to other people, they will also change their attitude towards you.  It will take time, but you will notice the difference and start to live the life you want to live and stop the emotional abuse.

I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.

Maggie Currie 

Creedence – Confidence for You

International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author

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Friends and family who sap your positive energy

The people with whom you have the most contact and who hang around you will have either a positive or negative effect on your levels of self-esteem and confidence.

We all know people who are positive, happy and joyful to be around. Have you noticed how they make you feel?

They make you feel the same as them, happy and positive! They can put zest into a boring atmosphere and can fill the room with a positive, ‘can do’ vibe that has a knock on effect onto everyone else.

Four Women Friends at the Beach

We also know of those people who could moan for England!

According to them they never had the opportunities, they are always putting people down, they don’t like other people to be successful, they are jealous and are negative thinkers – and so much more!

These people drain the energy from the room, and bring everyone down to their level, a million miles away from the level that YOU want to be operating on.

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Some family members can be a lot like this, but you can always choose your friends, you can never choose your family!

What can you do to make sure that the people you have most contact with empower and support what you stand for rather than bring you down all of the time?

You have the power to choose who you have contact with. Ideally you want happy, vibrant and positive people. If there are people who are constantly draining our positive energy you have a couple of options.  You can tell them how you feel and if they are really good friends they will respect your wishes and may change their behaviour. If they drift into the negative again, try to ignore it.  Or if they aren’t really good friends, they will drift away and find someone else to drain.

The same can be said for your family.  Your more mature relatives have been conditioned for many, many years and are a different generation.  Appreciate where they have come from whilst being selective with the information that filters through to your brain.  You have the same choices as with your friends for the younger relatives, tell them how you feel and they will either change something or drift away.

Don’t attach any guilt to your decisions, as it is your life and if you are tired of the negativity, it is time to do something about it.

You may well find that you make new friends who are positive and upbeat and some other members of your family may reappear who have also removed themselves from negative relatives.

I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.

Maggie Currie 

Creedence – Confidence for You

International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author

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