Have you ever had to say no and really mean it? Saying no with confidence and conviction takes a certain amount of positive thinking,assertiveness and boundary setting. Sometimes we have been met with situations where we should have said no, but didn't. This could have been because of various reasons such as shyness, being ashamed, lack of self confidence, lack of self esteem or beliefs you developed as you grew up. Building self confidence will mean an increase in self esteem and positive boundary settings in order to improve your ability of saying no with confidence and conviction.

Healthy self esteem is really an essential part to the life and is indispensable to normal and healthy self development. Healthy self esteem means a person values themselves and believe completely in their own competence and worth. The pursuit of self esteem affects the primal human need for relationships, and several other things that affect our self image. People differ in their bases of self esteem and beliefs about what they think they need to do for personal integrity and satisfaction or who they need to be in order to have worth as a person. One such pursuit may be trying to gain another persons approval by saying yes all the time.

Do you think you are not worthy as a person and have no or few strengths? Is this because everyone has always pointed out your shortcomings and you rarely get any positive feedback? Could it be that you have learned to focus only on your mistakes all the time since you were a child?

It does not really make any difference about the circumstances or what is going on. The real question is: "How can we say no without having to hurt the other person's feelings?" Do we really care? Can we really say no and mean it? We may not be able to avoid easing the pain of the other person, but what about the pain we may go through if we just say yes again. We may also say yes to give ourselves a measure of self worth. Healthy self esteem also means thinking highly of yourself as you think of your friends. Many people are so used to negative statements from others and themselves that they are totally aware of their weaknesses than strengths.

Thus, the other person involved may be used to getting a yes answer out of everyone and you may be the person who answers yes most of the time. When you are saying no with confidence and conviction you are saying to that person "I'm not giving you what you want this time." This could be a great disappointment for that person, but what about the disappointment you will feel if you continue to say yes again? You might feel that you failed again. Lack of confidence will give you a feeling of failure every time you cannot say no when you really want to. Not getting what you or they want is actually hard for everyone involved.

There are some things you can do to develop healthy self esteem which will affect your ability of saying no with confidence and conviction. Some of the things we can do or not do as the case applies:

  1. Celebrate your strengths and achievements. No matter how small they are, you are the one who accomplished them. Count each and everyone of them.

  2. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. All the times you wanted to say no but were unable to do so. We all make mistakes.

  3. Don't dwell on your weaknesses. All of us have them in different degrees. Recognize them, but don't stay stuck on them.

  4. Change the way you talk to yourself. The internal conversations you have mean a great deal about how you feel about yourself and your self image. Start some positive thinking.

  5. Develop positive thinking habits. Keep yourself up mentally and your self image and self esteem will grow.

  6. Be sure you are not judging yourself against unreasonable standards. Were the standards set by you or someone else? Were the negative standards set as you were growing up? These reasonable standards are all developed as you grow and develop your beliefs.

  7. Beating yourself up all the time for your weaknesses is self defeating. Use all that negativity for positive thoughts about yourself.

You will find that you are able to learn from your mistakes just as others with a healthy self esteem do. You will also be able to be confident without being obnoxious. The fact that you want to say no means you can without being devastated by criticisms for not saying yes. You will also not be overly defensive when you are questioned about saying no. When you say no you will be able to be more assertive in stating your needs and what you want to do. One thing nice is that you will not be harshly or destructively critical of yourself.

You must remember that you can't change your past, but you certainly can change the way you talk to yourself and what you do, starting today.

Here are a couple of ways to change in a healthy way:

  1. Make a long list of all the things you have ever done that were good.

  2. When you catch yourself saying nasty things to yourself, stop. This will do nothing in a positive way for you.

  3. Take time to recite the list of achievements you made to yourself.

  4. Affirm that there are many things that you really do successfully.

  5. Meet your own expectations in a positive way which in turn will improve your self esteem.

  6. Understand that your self esteem is not dependent on saying yes to everyone for everything.

  7. You must learn to pay attention to your own needs and wants.

  8. Start taking very good care of yourself. Don't take care of others first.

  9. Do something nice for a person, not because they asked you to.

One of the next things you can do is work on changing negative thoughts into positive thoughts. You can replace the negative thought with a positive one every time you find yourself thinking of one. Place positive images or signs throughout your home to help keep your thoughts positive. And you can repeat these positive thoughts over and over. Repetition is a great way to learn. You did this when you were growing up and in school. You may want to be in a relaxed position when repeating these thoughts; they may be more meaningful for you. This will all take time and persistence, so don't slough off and stop.

You can also begin by setting some mental and physical boundaries for yourself and others. Don't let people get too close and certainly don't let them encroach on your thinking. If you do make up you mind not to do something, don't let someone provide you with a bunch of reasons why you need to say yes to what they want. You can help yourself by saying no with confidence and conviction and staying with that decision. Back up what you say with a good feeling and thought about yourself.

So, developing your self image in a positive way will help you in building self esteem and more confidence. You will gain confidence in your ability to say no and not hurt yourself or others. Positive thinking will always improve your self esteem and self confidence. Soon you will be saying no with confidence and conviction and people will believe what you mean and accept it.