Afraid to Say NO? Learn How this Is Impacting Your Business

by Chris Atley

So what is behind this tiny little word? Well, most of us are people pleasers at heart. We don’t want to offend anyone or hurt their feelings. This can be traced back to a deeper fear of not wanting to be alone – of not wanting to be “shunned” from the group. Essentially being unloved.

Who the heck wants that??!!

We all have a deep desire to connect and be loved at a core level. We want to be accepted into the group, and so we don’t always say how we feel and definitely avoid saying no.

So what ends up happening?

Well, we end up saying yes to whole sh*t ton of things we don’t really want to be doing. We then get resentful and overwhelmed with everything we have going on.

In a weird way it almost proves we’re unlovable – we’re too busy and stressed to give anyone our best.

So how does this show-up in your business?

Well, if you don’t like saying no and have a hard time with it, how are you going to accept it from someone else? It makes you feel terrible to say no, and you therefore don’t want to feel the same when someone else tells you no.

If you can’t say no then you won’t make sales calls because you’re afraid to hear no.

I had to dig out some really deep stuff around being told no in sales conversations. It related back to feeling abandoned after my Mom and Dad divorced when I was 4 –years old!! Nuts right?! But this stuff feels real. It leaves a mark, and as kids we’re making some pretty important decisions about ourselves that are accepted into our minds unconsciously. The issue as adults is that our subconscious mind is the underlying operating system for all of the decisions we make. So if I decided when I was little that I was unlovable because people leave me, what kind of decisions do you think I’m making in life from that lens? Not great right?

The good news is that most of us also have a lot of empowered beliefs in there too. The heavy stuff doesn’t tend to come to the surface and present itself as a potential block until we are really putting ourselves out there – like, ahem, running a business….

Not being able to say no shows-up in all levels of business. I just noticed this the other day with a woman who has achieved great success in her business. She is having trouble with sales – in terms of making sales and training a team. It came as no surprise that she has a hard time saying no to people. She is afraid of it, and it’s therefore showing-up in her business too.

The subconscious can be sneaky – take a hard look at what you are feeling around saying no in both your personal and business life. All areas are connected, and where there’s trouble in one area you can guarantee there’s trouble with it in another area.



Here are some tips on saying no with grace and ease :-)

    *Create a sentence where you are clearly saying no thank-you. Use language that is clear and respectful.

    *Keep in mind most people are just looking for an answer from you and you don’t need to justify why you’re saying no. That is usually ourselves feeling like the need to justify it. We’re again people pleasing and trying to avoid hurt feelings and being shunned form he group deep down.

    *Say your sentence and then pause. Count to 10 in your head if you need to. Allow the other person the space to respond. Again, most people are usually looking for an answer.

    *Get clear on your values and priorities, i.e. family, fun, finances, spirituality, etc. It will make saying no much easier to tasks that aren’t in alignment with your values. For example, if family is one of you top values and you haven’t spent a lot of time as a family lately, it’s much easier to say no to one more birthday party invite :)

    *Let others say no to you! Be the person you want others to be. Respect their decision. This applies again to both personal and business. In sales, your job in a sales conversation is to help people get to a “yes” or “no” decision. If they are in a lot of fear you can help them through that, but ultimately if they’re telling you no you must listen. It’s never a great fit with a client if you’ve talked them into your service anyway. It means you want it more for them they do (or see value in), and be prepared to let them go. This is a tough one to learn. It’s helpful to know that you will always be shown more people to help by the universe :-)

Namaste friends :-)


Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com

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