Are you feeling stuck right now?  Can I ask how you react to suggestions, new possibilities and different options?

You might be struggling with the “instant no”?  Or perhaps more accurately, it’s not so much of a hard no (because we’re also the people who often find it tricky to set clear boundaries).  It’s probably more of a “hmm, not sure that’s for me”, a “but what if..” or a “that’s beyond me; too much; not possible”*
(* delete as appropriate).

This is a common theme in my coaching space – and in honesty, it’s one I have to constantly work on myself.  It’s where we generate options and work out what we really desire. But rather than exploring these possibilities further and giving them chance to breathe, an inner resistance comes up and gives a million reasons why this isn’t the way to go.

And that resistance feels like “logic” so we either don’t notice, or we accept what we’re being told by that inner voice.  And, I believe, this can be one of the biggest blocks to:

  • trying new things and stretching your comfort zone

  • making change happen

  • getting stuff done (this often plays a role in procrastination)

  • showing up as the real you, doing what you long to do and being who you were always meant to be

So you hear about a new possibility or a different option and your mind instantly says no – and then gives you endless reasons why that’s the right call. 

It focuses on a list of possible issues if you do this (and of course takes no notice of any of the downsides if you don’t).  It never looks at the issues of being stuck with something that isn’t working for you.  And it doesn’t considers the opportunity cost of no change.

Oh, and then add that to some perfectionism or an all-or-nothing trait and you’ll see the new route as involving a massive amount of effort to reach that (perfect) end result. And you’ll question your ability, your capability, your skill to do it.   And you’ll feel even more confident in your “no”.  

But what if that’s the reason you’re feeling stuck right now and fighting the same battles again and again?  And what if that decision isn’t being made by your “logical” brain but is instead coming from an overly protective nervous system, which hates change and unfamiliarity?

Moving no to a maybe

If you’re struggling with this, here’s a few quick tips that make help you move a no to a maybe…

  • Awareness: the first step is to notice the no or any resistance coming up.  Remind yourself that this might just be a reaction rather than a choice and be open to investigating more.

  • Compassion: beating yourself up for a habitual thought pattern will only make things worse. There is no judgment involved – just lots of self compassion.

  • Regulation: your nervous system is in a stress response so take small, simple steps to bring it back to regulation.  Check out my Mindful First Aid Kit blog (and the 5 following Senses blogs) as they’re packed with useful ways to do this.

  • Exploration: encourage your focus from all the reasons this might not work to what doors this may be be closing.  What options could this create?  What might the benefits be? What is the potential?  Feel free to look at reasons why a no might also be a good decision, but make sure you’re considering that from a logical, embodied place – not just fear.  

  • Beware: the perfectionist that says you’ll never being able to do this so what’s the point.  Beware the all-or-nothing mindset that tells you it’s going to be massive, overwhelming, unachievable.  Beware the con artist telling you that you don’t want this anyway.  This may be valid but make sure you check it out for yourself – not just as a knee jerk reaction.

  • Vision: create a vision of the yes. Try it on for size (whilst keeping yourself super calm).  How does it feel?  What are the possibilities?  Where could it lead? What does it give you?  

  • Feedback: remember the times you did say yes and it delivered positives.  Try to move a no to a yes right now, but with something pretty inconsequential.  And lock in the outcome (so the nervous system begins to learn that it’s not always so bad).

Remember this doesn’t mean that you’re now going to say yes to everything and bypass evaluation, charging headlong into things with blind enthusiasm. We’re not talking personality transplants here!

But it does mean that you can then do all that from a calm and conscious place.  Using the logic of your brain along with the wisdom of you body – your heart, your gut, that ethereal sense of self – to guide you.  Rather than having doors closed by fear that you don’t even know is there.

Oh, and guess what.  This isn’t easy.  And if you’re struggling to put this into action – or perhaps you’re not even noticing that your first response is resistance or rejection (VERY COMMON) but you’re feeling stuck, then let’s talk.

Helping people step forward and become who they were always meant to be is exactly what I do with my coaching packages.  And I can’t wait to see what might be possible for you.