Can “No” be a Gift?
Many people have a difficult time saying ‘no’. Sometimes, this stems from a good place. You may tell your elderly neighbor you’ll help her with her garden because you don’t want to disappoint her. You might promise to help a colleague with her project because you know she’s having a hard time at home.
Other times, you avoid saying ‘no’ because you care about what people think. You’re afraid if you turn down that project that you’ll get passed over for a promotion. You worry that if you don’t do what everyone else is doing you’ll be thought of as weird. So you keep trying to contort and fit into a mold that wasn’t made for you.
But what if you stopped viewing ‘no’ as a bad thing? What if you began to look at ‘no’ as a word that can help you shape your life to reflect your values and dreams? What if ‘no’ is really a gift you can give yourself?
No Can Often Make You Happier
One of the best reasons to say no is simply because it makes you happier. How many times have you agreed to be on a committee or volunteered to tackle a big project only to regret it later? You wish you’d never said yes. You’re sorry that you didn’t let someone else step up and do these tasks. But now it’s too late and you feel bound to follow through on your promise.
The reason saying no makes you happier is because most people overestimate how much they can get done. This leads to overcrowding your schedule and feeling pressed for time constantly. Then you feel stressed out and guilty on top of everything else.
No Can Set You Free from Expectations
Another advantage of saying no is that it can help you let go of expectations. Ask yourself who you’d be if you didn’t worry about what other people thought. Would you pursue that degree you’ve always wanted? Would you take up a new hobby? Would you decide to spend the majority of your time traveling?
But sometimes, expectations don’t come from others. Sometimes, they can come from you. You might say, “I’ve always been like this.” Or you might tell yourself, “This is just who I am.”
What if you let go of those expectations? What if you chose to believe that you can change? You could say, “I’m rewriting the script today. I’ll try new things and discover new places.”
No Can Help You Honor Yourself
Few things are more upsetting than realizing you’ve failed to honor yourself. Perhaps you took on projects that weren’t a good fit for your gifts or you stayed in a relationship with a partner who didn’t honor you. Maybe you tried to squeeze inside a mold someone else created, even though it was painful. You fought hard to be who you thought you should be. That’s why no can be so powerful.
If you’re already in a situation that’s not helping you be your best self, look for ways to change your circumstances.
Maybe you need to take a break from a partner who’s controlling you. Maybe you have to walk away from a business opportunity that’s not right for you. Maybe it’s time for a serious conversation with a loved one who keeps sabotaging your success.
Don’t be afraid to say no to situations and people that don’t respect or cherish you. You deserve to be treated well. You deserve to be loved and appreciated for who you are, not who someone else wishes you to be.
Look at saying no as a good thing. It means you know what you want and you’re serious about growing into your best self.
What will you say NO to? How can I help support you?
P.S. Leave extra space on your calendar this week so you can relax and simply be.