Hypnotherapist / Life & Career Coach

Hypnotherapist in Berskshire - and Life Coaching
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Hypnotherapy Society

Federation of Holistic Therapies

Publications about Sharon's hypnotherapy & a sample of coaching articles by Sharon published on the Mind Tools website

Publication 2009 :
'The soothing voice of reason can help ease life’s pressures' >>

News :
‘True life story - Helping you think about your life’ >>

Article 1:
The Language of My Motivation’ >>

Article 2:
'The Stories That Run Our Lives' >>

Article 3:
‘Why Can I Never Say NO?' >>


‘Why Can I Never Say NO?'

How many times do you find yourself pushed to breaking point with deadlines, ‘to-do’ lists, your own expectations and desires, and then someone comes along and asks a ‘little favour’. And what do you say? “No, Sorry, I’m too busy at the moment” or “OK, I’ll see what I can do for you.”

If, like me, you use the second response more times than you care to remember, we have to ask ourselves: “Why on earth do we DO IT??”

By saying “yes” when it really doesn’t suit, what are you telling the world? – Or, to put it more pointedly, what do you THINK you’re telling the world?

Exercise: Take a moment to think about the times when you’ve said “yes” to a project or task, when really you’ve meant “no”. And write down the signals you hoped you were sending out to the world.

The “Yes” Trap
Do you fall into the “yes” trap because you want people to know:
1. You’re super-efficient and capable
2. You’re reliable and dependable
3. You’re indispensable
4. You’re a go-getter and high achiever
5. You’re hard-working and therefore worthy of your salary or the salary you’re working towards

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Asking honest questions

Have you ever stopped to wonder why you do the things you do?

Have you ever noticed the little voice inside your head that seems to be on a constant loop?

Is it possible you have created a certain impression of someone or some situation based on other people’s thoughts and beliefs rather than on your own?

How many times have you said “yes”, when really you wanted to say “no”?

What excuses do you use that could be holding you back?

Is your life so busy that you have forgotten to listen to your inner voice?

What could you do today to improve one aspect of your life?

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Some of these reasons will probably resonate. But, when you say “yes”, is that how people really perceive you? Or do they perhaps see you just as a sure way of getting something done with the minimum of fuss and negotiation?

Exercise: Now take a moment to think about how you feel when you say “yes” but really want to say “no”. I’m guessing that there’s at least as much negative feeling as positive.

By saying “yes” what are you subconsciously telling yourself? Perhaps that:
6. You don’t value your own time
7. You don’t value your own goals and needs
8. You’re an easy option with no boundaries in place
9. You don’t respect yourself, so why should anyone else?

While there is much debate in both philosophy and psychology as to whether or not (and to what extent) we create our reality, there is little doubt that we create our experience of reality when we represent things in our mind: If we think that by saying “yes” we will be that super-efficient, reliable, indispensable, go-getting person (points 1-5 above), then we will continue to say “yes”. Even when common sense (and probably all our well-meaning friends) will tell us otherwise.

Learning to Choose “No”
The most important choice each of us has in life is to choose our priorities. What you do, and the outcome you achieve, is a direct result of the choices you make and the priorities you give to every task and project you encounter.

If saying “yes” leaves you feeling frustrated and stressed, annoyed with yourself, and feeling, deep down, more like a person described by points 6-9 above, then perhaps you’re putting your priorities in the wrong place.

Try choosing “no” more often: When “no” is the right answer for you, say it politely, assertively and with conviction. See how much better that can make you feel.

The moment you recognize your needs and priorities, and find a better way to meet them, you’ll find better peace of mind, and life will change for the better.

Exercise: Now think again about the times you’ve said “yes”, when really you wanted to say “no”. Practice saying “no” politely and firmly. Remember, when “no” is the right answer, you’re not making excuses; A brief and honest explanation of your reasons should suffice.

“No” is hard for many of people to say. We all like to feel appreciated and useful to others. But it’s often far better to say “no” and concentrate on a few great wins, than to say “yes” after “yes” after “yes” and deliver poor results on the things that matter most.

Either you’ll do it voluntarily and deliberately, or you’ll do it when you collapse with a nervous breakdown. You owe it to yourself to take control of your own life and make the hard choices now, when they may be uncomfortable but at least they are do-able. Take heed of the wise words of Stever Robbins, leadership and efficiency expert: “Something’s got to give. Don’t let it be you.”


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