Listen to Shelley Crawford, an EMCC Global Accredited Master Practitioner and Accredited Supervisor, talk about how to say no. 
In this video, I'll talk about how learning to say no can help you make your overwhelm less overwhelming. Many people feel overwhelmed because they struggle to say no. No is only a very small two-letter the word, so why are we so afraid of it? For some adults, the inability to say no comes from their childhood. From an early age, many children are taught to be polite and forthcoming. If a parent or teacher asks a child to do something, saying no back then was interpreted as a form of back talk. In some cases, refusing an adult meant punishment or negative reinforcement. Another reason you may find it difficult to say no is if you doubt yourself. With imposter syndrome, you feel like you are not good enough to do the role that you are in. Because of these feelings, you may avoid saying no to others. You may be afraid they will think you are unable to perform your roles or responsibilities if you say no. It can also make it hard to say no to yourself. You constantly feel that you have to say yes to prove to yourself that you can actually do your job. 
 
Some people feel like they might miss out on something if they say no to an event or a get together. We can be scared to speak up for fear of upsetting others. We worry that hearing no feels like rejection. But for the sake of your wellbeing, it's important to get to saying no without the guilt. Have some polite go-to phrases to pull out when you need them. For instance, I would have loved to, but I'm just too busy right now. I'm sorry, I'm really stretched, so I'm going to have to say no this time. Or, The timing isn't good for me, but please keep me in mind for next time. One of the other reasons we find no so difficult to say is that it feels very personal. It feels like we are saying no to the person and not the invitation, the task, the event, or the occasion, when in reality, the two are very separate. You can say yes to your friend, but no to that drinks party they invited you to. You can say no to the extra work you're being asked to take on at work, but not to the colleague asking it of Even the language you use can help you to be more mindful of the difference. 
 
For instance, I'm afraid I'm really going to have to say no to this. This isn't a person. It is just a thing. Remind yourself that it is not personal. You are not rejecting someone. And make sure that that is conveyed in the language you use when you deliver your no. For example, You seem like a really great guy, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to say no to the offer of a date. If you struggle to say no, learning to identify signs of personal discomfort can help you know when to draw the line. Ask yourself, if I say yes to this other person's request, what am I saying no to that I really, really want to do? What will the consequence be? And is this what I really, really saying no when you have been used to saying yes can be really difficult, and it takes practise. So practise saying some of the phrases that I talked about earlier and learn to say a healthy no. 
 
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