The word no is often viewed in the negative. For those of us that have a desire to always help others the word no can leave us feeling guilty, mean or selfish. As I continue to grow and learn, I realize that the word no can be positive. If you learn to Stand in your No, it can be liberating. There are three ways to stand completely liberated in your no.

The first way is to understand your motivation for saying no. Getting to the core of your motivation can ensure you stand in confidence. Recently, I had a situation that tested the power of my no. I asked someone for assistance and they said no. It was not the fact that they said no that troubled me, but the way they reacted to what I thought was a reasonable request. After the experience, I took a step back to analyze if my request was unreasonable. What I was asking would have required the other person to work a little harder to accommodate my request. I had no problem asking as I have gone out of my way previous times to assist this individual. I thought we had a relationship in which we could depend on each other. I thought we both shared a strong sence of community. Thus, even though I was not happy with the way they reacted, I had to respect their right to say no to my request. However, it did enlighten me to my priority. My propriety is my business but I always try to accommodate others when I can. This other person’s priority was their business solely.

The second way to stand firm in your no is to understand the motivation of the other person. The person that I asked for a favor was one that had no problem asking me to accommodate their needs. They were always approaching their ask from their perspective and what they needed. The person’s reaction was very unexpected. They communicated that it was very unreasonable for me to ask for a modification. Once I accepted both their no and motivation, I was able to move forward. At that point, I decided to continue to work with this person, but to remain within the boundaries of our relationship. Once someone shows you who they are, you should believe them. In this case, I believed them and adjusted my expectations of them. I no longer expected them to consider my needs in the business relationship. Thus, I was prepared to not do any less or more than what was required.

The third way to stand firm in your no is to be at peace with your decision. Once I accepted the relationship for what it was I was at peace. The relationship was never a two-sided street in which we both helped each other. There was only one side. Interesting enough, my peace was tested within two days of this incident. The person reached out to me for a favor that would require me to go out of my way and I respectfully declined. I did not do it out of guilt or payback. I said no to Stand in my No and the boundary that I established for myself with NO regret.