When we say NO to something or someone, if we are not assertive by personality or if we are not so sure whether we made a good decision or not, we second-guess ourselves. Has that happened to you? To me, in the past, a thousand times!
I knew it was kind of OK to say NO to a certain thing and yet, I was feeling something was off and I was thinking all the time "what if I had said yes?" A bunch of what ifs, dancing in my mind like crazy. And a kind of anxiety in my chest: this thing is called GUILT, and it can send you to prison... but real quick!
Guilt is one of those things that are so hard to explain, because you just feel it. It is like a chain, like when you can't swallow something, like when you can't breathe or you feel something in your stomach. Guilt can make you feel like a criminal and prisoner. But the worst is that, without actually knowing it, you start feeling all the feelings of "not being allowed to something" - as if you were grounded, or as if you had discovered that you cannot freely walk down the street. Here some of them:
- You feel you are not entitled to something and you can't express what;
- You feel you cannot have fun, because hey, criminals do not usually have fun if they have to stay in prison, right?
- You cannot stop thinking "what if?" and think of a better possible solution in which you are free
- You feel it is better to follow someone else's advice, because you are not in a condition of deciding (like if you were a patient of some mental clinic, who cannot decide certain things about his/her health)
- You just feel the need to apologise.
If you analyse all this, this is just GUILT that is not consciously and logically processed or accepted. And sometimes we just feel guilty because of FEAR. Fear to have disappointed someone, fear of not being accepted, fear of losing something.
If you stop and analyse again, you probably have good reasons why you said NO. Then, why would you be guilty? How can somebody take your out of his/her life just because you said a NO? Then, do the following:
- Think: what is the worst that can happen if I say this NO
- Focus on the reason why you said it and think why you are second-guessing yourself
- Think of 3 reasons why you need to feel accepted and wanted and why this one NO is making you doubt everything
- Go for a walk, enjoy. YOU ARE FREE, that is the reality. You are free to decide what to do in your best interest and in the others' general interest too. You are wise enough to discern right and wrong! Believe in you :)