The Fear Of Saying ‘no’ At Work

Progressing at work is not always saying ‘yes’; limits must be set.

The fear of saying 'no' at work

The fear of saying “no” and setting limits is one of the great difficulties and learning that we encounter in relation to our personal development, whether in the personal, sentimental or work area.

What does it take you not to say “no” or to set clear limits between what you want and what you don’t want, between what you can or cannot do, and also between what you know and what you don’t know? And above all, how to overcome this difficulty?

The problems when saying “no” in the workplace

One of the first words that humans learn is “no.” This word is sometimes associated with a negative meaning, but actually setting limits is an essential condition in your life to achieve well-being. The “no” helps us to set limits, to know ourselves, to build a solid personality where we know what we want, what not, what we can do, where we need more help or directly what we cannot do (limits are also necessary to personal development).

One of the most common problems today is considering that growing as a person or professional consists of exceeding all your limits. But we are human beings, and having limits is part of our humanity and nature. The appropriate thing is to be aware of what those limits are. However, if the rest of the world is unaware of your limits because you don’t communicate them, what does that lead to?

On a personal level, not saying no or communicating your limits leads you to feel that you are not living your own life, but that your life is conditioned by the decisions of others. Not setting clear limits, expressing what you really think, feel and need, and what you don’t want, leads you to a state of frustration first, later helplessness, and finally discouragement.

On the professional plot, everything can be intensified even more. By not making decisions, we end up feeling more and more insecurity and a lack of personal worth. By not saying no, it may be possible to accumulate work that does not correspond to us, which leads to more stress, anxiety, fatigue, and therefore discouragement and demotivation about work (sometimes even fear).

Work can be an experience of achievement, learning and well-being or a heavy daily burden. It all depends on how you communicate your limits. Sometimes not setting limits also means that others can cross the line and cause you discomfort.

In this video I am going to tell you what is the main origin of the problem of saying no and the limits and how you can start to solve it. Hit play!

The importance of setting clear boundaries

Saying “no”, communicating limits, or communicating assertively is actually very simple. The problem is what is preventing you. What prevents us from communicating assertively and setting limits is primarily fear.

We are afraid of the answer, fear of lack of acceptance and appreciation, fear of risk, fear of losing. But fear is not the problem (since it is a useful and necessary emotion to protect your life) but how you understand and manage your fears and emotions.

In the last 10 years I have accompanied people as a psychologist and coach in their processes of personal and professional change, and in the vast majority of cases there was a fear of saying “no” that needed to be solved. When you live a process of change and the change occurs in you, starting to set limits becomes more and more a habit. Work decreases, it becomes more organized, personal relationships improve, you get to know yourself more and you begin to feel that work is a lighter experience.

Of course, assertive communication is not saying “no”, it is much more than that. It is communicating in an essential way. It is telling the truth, what you think, what you feel and need, and also what you cannot or want to do.

Do you need support?

In you can find some free resources to start living that process of change, such as the Get Excited program, or even schedule a free first exploratory session with me to get to know us, detect where the problem is, what the solution may be, and above all See how I can accompany you in that process of change so that, thanks to your own personal change, everything else changes forever.

What happens to us is a result of what we do, how we interpret it, and how we manage the emotions we feel. For this reason the only possible change is the one that occurs in you. Because from you the actions, the interpretations change and above all you learn to have the emotions on your side instead of against you.

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