It’s such a simple word, yet many of us have such a hard time actually saying it.
For years, I struggled with being able to say no to other people. As an ambitious, people pleaser, I thought yes was what they wanted to hear, and I pretty much banned the word “no” from my vocabulary.
I wanted people to like me. I was scared what would happen if I actually turned somebody down. I didn’t want to come across as rude. So I forged on with years of saying yes to everything that came my way.
Yes, I can make that deadline.
Yes, I’ll be there.
Yes, I can absolutely do that for you.
Yes, I have time. Of course I have time for you!
Yes, I would love to.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
I said yes to just about everyone and everything that came my way…expect for one important person, the most important person: myself. After years and years of not truly valuing myself, I mustered up enough courage to finally start practicing this whole “no” thing. Heck, I’ve seen others do it before…it’s time I may as well try myself!
I didn’t just say “no” to anything & everything, but with each and every proposition, I began to ask myself, “Is this really something I want to do?” “Is this in line with who I am and how I want to feel?”
With that, it became easier and easier with every phrase.
No, I can not meet you for dinner tonight.
No, unfortunately that deadline is not going to work for me.
No, I’m actually going to be on vacation.
No, I simply don’t have time this week. Can we try again next?
No, right now I do not currently have any interest. Keep me in mind for the future.
No, I’m not interested.
No, thank you.
And the minute I gave myself the OK to say no, endless opportunities began to open up for me, and I began to feel…more free, more me. You see, when you say no to other obligations in which you simply do not want to do, you are actually saying “yes” to yourself. And that right there is where I got the courage to say that little two-letter word loud and proud (with no excuses)!
With every no, I started doing more of the things that light up my soul. I suddenly had more time on my hands to dedicate to my own self-care, and life seemed much less cluttered, much less overwhelming. I started to stay in if I wanted to stay in, I’d spend time with the people I wanted to spend time with, and I started letting go of things that simply didn’t feel right. It felt amazing.
Each and every no helped me build up strength to live my soul’s truth, and to never apologize for who I am.
I wouldn’t call myself an expert, as it’s definitely a work in progress, but I’ve come along way and for that I am proud. You see, saying no doesn’t make you a bad person at all. It’s actually one of the most respectable (and self-respectable) things you can do.
As we close out the week, I encourage you to think about the things you would have more time to do if you simply said “no.” What things/people/clutter are you holding onto that no longer serves your best interest?