Why Learning To Say ‘No’ Is The Most Important Part Of Self-Love

The key to happiness lies in knowing how to love yourself — but you don’t just learn how to be happy overnight, and self love is oftentimes difficult to come by.

The process of learning to love yourself and how to be happy in life are incredibly important, and the truth is that you may be ignoring a crucial part of this journey because you’ve forgotten how to say “no” when you really want to.

It’s not uncommon to struggle with self-love, but one of the first steps (though not necessarily an easy one!) you can take is in getting the power to say “no” back. Your pursuit of happiness can largely begin with that single first step.

This is because, like many people, you grew up learning to say “yes” to things you didn’t want. There wasn’t a choice for you, really. You had to fit in. You had to please others in order to feel loved, wanted, and accepted.

And by continually saying “yes” even when you didn’t want to, you were not only conditioning yourself to be a people-pleaser, you were also giving up your right to say “no.” You most likely left your authentic self behind in a very fundamental way.

Sadly, many people do that. If you lost your voice and the ability to say no in order to feel loved by others, you — and your self-esteem and self-love — are paying a high price even up to this day.

Do you know what it costs you to ignore your deeper needs, wants, and wisdom and go along with what other people want? Do you remember what it’s like to know how to be happy with yourself?

Thinking about what being a people pleaser is doing to your own happiness is a big wake up call. It helps you wake up from a deep slumber of going along with everybody else — everybody else who also gave up their right to say “no” to what they don’t want and “yes” to what they do.

Now, it’s time to learn how to be happy in life by taking back the power to say “no.”

I know what it cost me in the past before I took back my right to be me, to what I want and to what I don’t want. I had to learn how to harness my power to say no to something that didn’t resonate with my deeper truths or desires.

Believe me when I say that it didn’t happen overnight.

It’s scary at first, and even possibly for a long time. People don’t like it when you say no, and you can feel “wrong” for not complying.

You may even feel like you’re standing out and being too different, or that you’re getting judged, but don’t you let that fear stop you. You are not alone anymore and don’t have to ignore what you know is true for you.

Compromise won’t work anymore, so even though it’s challenging in the beginning and tempting to stay in the zone of compromise and say “yes” sometimes because it’s uncomfortable, I promise you that it gets easier once you start working that authentic self inside of you again.

I noticed that it got easier over time to say “no” when I learned to listen to my body’s natural wisdom. My inner self knew all along, but because the world around me didn’t want me to go against the grain, I’d learned to tune out my own wisdom and ignore what was natural for me.

The price was self-doubt, fear, and tension. I didn’t speak up, disrespected myself, and a lot more.

However, my inner wisdom never went away. How could it? You’re never separate from your deeper wisdom, even if you’ve turned away from it.

When you turn back inside and learn how to pay attention to your natural wisdom again, learn to love it and learn to listen to it, you’ll be surprised to realize that it never went away. You were the one who turned away from it.

And since you had the power to turn away from it, you have that same power to turn back to it. This power is called self-love.

Self love is the glue that brings all your fragmented, disowned, ignored and rejected parts back together, and the price is practice.

All it takes is practice and a willingness to learn.

You start learning the language of your body, and the first words you need to learn are “yes” and “no.” Once you’ve got the basics down, you’re on your way.

What does a true “yes” or a true “no” feel like to you?

Self-love is caring enough about yourself to know that what you want, who you are, and even what you don’t want does matter. In other words: You matter!

“Normal” is the norm. It’s what most people do. It’s what you do to fit in. But being “natural” is listening to your inner wisdom and finding out what your natural rhythm is, your pace, your wants, and needs, and joys. It’s learning what matters to you and distinguishing between your needs and others’ needs.

What is normal is not necessarily natural for you.

So, what is “natural” to you?

Let’s choose a few specific areas of your life for this exploration.

Make sure you pay attention to your body’s language when you read the questions, and not just answer them from your mind.

If listening to your body’s language is still like a foreign language to you, just start paying attention to certain signs.

When you say “yes” to something, are you noticing anything like:
  • Contracting or expanding in your body?
  • Tightening or softening of your muscles?
  • Do you feel upset with your decision, or happy?
  • Is your breathing shallow and rough, or deep and calm?
  • Does your decision make you feel energized, or depleted?

This is a good time to become familiar with how your body expresses naturalness. There is no right or wrong answer.

As you start uncovering what’s natural and what’s not, you may be surprised how unnatural your choices in life feel to you now.

Don’t feel bad or guilty about what you’re uncovering; just recognize what feels natural and right to you.

When you honor what is natural to you, you become a living example of self-love. You become a model of being your authentic self.

Give yourself some time to just sit quietly to contemplate and experience what feels natural to you. Indulge a little. What does it feel like? Do you feel expanded? Alive? Inspired?

The more you allow yourself to enjoy these sweet feelings, your choices in life will change. It happens all by itself.

And a natural result is that you’ll feel more peace, less stress, more confidence, more joy, less doubt, more energy and inspiration in life.

Saying “no” is a natural next step when you know what is natural to you and what isn’t.

You can say “no” to what is out of alignment with your deeper sense of self, and embrace the self love and happiness that you yearn for.

Originally written by Pernilla Lillarose  on YourTango

Featured image via Pexels


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