I so love what Patricia Weber has to share with us this time. I know you will too. Take it away Patricia with…
Not Too Late to Say No, Even for Baby Boomers
The pastor at the service I went to recently commented on the word NO, being the two letters right in the middle of the alphabet. Kind of like a pivot point is what came to my mind.
If it’s a pivot point, then it’s not too late to say no to whatever it is that drains us, disempowers us or leaves us less than happy. Yes, even baby boomers may want to have more energy, feel more empowered and be happier.
It’s not too late to say no, even for baby boomers.
As the holidays are coming and showing up around us, it might be a perfect time to get some practice with learning to say no so it works for us.
We want to control what we can. How do we get back to our general wide-eyed baby boomer optimism?
One way is to turn more to no.
Realize you can say no
My goodness, most baby boomers grew up hearing no. “No, you cannot stay out that late.” “No, you’ll have to do without that toy.” “No dessert until you finish your meal.”
What no did you hear?
My son and daughter-in-law in the X-generation, might not say no as much. They are of a different generation. Oh they still say it, and maybe it is as often, but just not around us.
The point is that anyone can say no without anyone falling apart.
Maybe you have something you want to say no to – increased debt, failing beliefs, watching television, energy zapping relationships – it really doesn’t matter if it’s something big or small.
In the end we gain energy, have less frustrations and might even find more self-respect in the process of letting go of what no longer is serving us.
Let go of that person you offended
That’s right. We offend people, some of us regularly. We don’t usually do it purposefully, but it happens. This sometimes shows up in my life.
A short while ago, a new commenter to my blog, emailed me that he did not agree with my optimistic outlook about how introverts can benefit from social media or technology. I did approve his comment.
Then I respectfully replied to say we would have to agree to disagree. The view from my experiences is that almost anyone can benefit from social media.
As unique beings we have different opinions. If someone disagrees with you, it’s because it’s from their perspective, not anything that you might have done or said.
Say, even if just to yourself, that you don’t feel bad if you offend someone when (and if) you did not mean to do so.
Which is the best way to success with “no”?
You’re a baby boomer, maybe nearing retirement. You’ve saved enough but gosh, that new car or trip around the world or other costly bucket list item – not something you need, but something you want – is calling your name and you are finding it difficult to avoid.
Research published in a 2012 Journal of Consumer Research shows that saying “no” on its own is an ineffective strategy. Saying “I can’t” isn’t effective either.
Instead, when we change one word we might have more success and not fall into temptation with the dessert we know we don’t need, or procrastinating to do something we know is important, or any number of daily things we know we would be better off not engaging in.
Two studies using 120 people were done and part of the focus was on the actual words to use.
Pick your situation you know it’s better to not get involved in, buy it or eat it. Is it better to say, “I can’t get that trip around the world,” or “I don’t take that trip around the world?”
If you want to be successful in staying true to what you know it would be more helpful, healthful or energizing for you, say “Don’t.”
The word “don’t” is more empowering and goal directing compared to “can’t.” Wow! And doesn’t this satisfy our baby boomer value to make a difference in our own life.
Our self-talk is powerful in changing our behaviors. Using “don’t” can motivate us more to do what we want.
If you want to say “no” to something instead of just responding with “no” to yourself, or I contend even to someone else, use “I don’t” in the proper context of the situation.
The authors of the study call it “empowered refusal to motivate goal-directed behavior.”
Are you ready to achieve your goal to be better at saying, no?
My guess is you could even say “You don’t get dessert,” instead of “No dessert,” to those grandchildren you over indulge! Well okay, only if you want to. Yes, the holidays are around the corner. And it is a time that either from our friends and family, or ourselves, we will often be pulled into temptation for one thing or another.
If you find you want more vitality back, to feel more in control, to be more empowered, then get ready to focus on your – no.
Pivot easily to it with “I don’t” to get the most success of your new no. When you do this, things you want to say “yes” to are bound to show up more.
How good are you at saying no? What’s that doing to attract more of what you want?
From Patricia Weber @patricia-weber.com as life’s journey continues…
Note: Images provide by Heather Lee @The Little Design Lab.
If you enjoyed “Secrets to Aging Well for Baby Boomers from Our Aging Parents,” check out Baby Boomer Who Doesn’t Think Alternative Healing is Phony, Secrets to Aging Well for Baby Boomers from Our Aging Parents, and We Shall See.