One of the biggest problems we face today is being afraid of one tiny little word. This one little word has the power to open up our schedules and our hearts for the things that matter most. What is this powerful little word, wanting to bring us freedom and happiness. It’s the word NO! The one that we, as “people pleasers” , are scared to even acknowledge exists. We don’t say it enough, scared to disappoint, anger or frustrate those we work with, live with and do life with, while we are sacrificing our peace and happiness, when it’s all just one little word away. No is a negative word and I’m not by any means encouraging pushing away our responsibilities or commitment to our jobs or families. It’s those other things that creep up, the ones that really do us in, that take us AWAY from our families and careers, we are looking at today. So, when is it really ok to say no?
Come Up With An Answer Checklist
When asked a specific question there are always two answers: yes or no. Saying yes to many things is going to complicate your life. Some things you need to say yes to, some things you don’t. So how do you define what should be your yes and no answers? Come up with a personal checklist that you can filter these questions through. This will help you navigate where your time is best spent.
- Create boundaries for yourself, and within your boundaries a list of priorities.Think about what’s most important and what you are willing to take on and with whom. If asked to do something, does it fit within the boundaries you’ve created for yourself? Does it fit with the things and people you have made a priority in your life? If not, you have your answer.
- What activities/things are you willing to repeat? When asked to commit to something, sometimes it’s a recurring yes. Is it something that you will enjoy or benefit your family?
- When facing a decision, ask yourself, “what are the reasons I would want to say yes?” And then ask yourself, what are the reasons I would want to say no?” Write down your responses to both and compare.
- Are you giving too many yes answers because you’re trying to be the “perfect parent” or the “perfect employee?’ As we know, there are no perfect people. Saying yes to too many things can take you away from your most important responsibilities.It’s better to say no to other things so your important “yes” commitments have the very best you that you have to offer.
- Develop a good routine for yourself that includes time with those you love the most, doing things you enjoy the most. When there are decisions to make, ask yourself can these decisions easily fit into your routine, both professional and personal?
- Everytime you say “yes” to something, it takes time away from your other “yes” commitments. Would this new decision make you less available to other important things?
Ready To Say No
You’ve got a good checklist to filter your decisions through and you realize that you need to start saying “no.” It’s not easy the first couple of times you have to turn people down, but there are positive, gentle ways to say no and they can come with a great sigh of relief to you!
- After the first “no” you give, the ones that come after are easier to say and are more easily accepted.
- Express that you are grateful to be thought of and asked but must decline the kind offer.
- No is a good enough answer. You don’t owe anyone long, detailed explanations as to why you are saying no. It’s your right to do so.
- Do not feel that you owe someone an apology for your no. Everyone has busy lives and the person you gave a no answer to also has to give no answers to others.
- Don’t walk away from a “no” feeling like you are missing out, be grateful the no you gave gives you time for other things you enjoy.
- Just because you gave someone no as your answer doesn’t mean you aren’t a caring, giving person. It just means you are giving your time to those you care for most.
Living In The Beauty Of Your “No”
As you learn to say yes to the important things and no to the less important, you will find yourself in the middle of the things and the people you love the most. Remember there are always seasons in life. Like the four distinct seasons of the year, there are seasons in life where there will be more no’s and seasons where there will be more yes answers.Sometimes we are in a place where we are helping someone we love to carry a heavy yes season, making our no’s become greater. There is beauty to find in your “no” responses. As I write this we are still in the middle of 2020 and there have been way more “no’s” to face than I was prepared for. But these no answers that have been out of my control have opened up some beautiful “yes” times with my loved ones that I didn’t even realize I needed. Don’t jump to the conclusion that every no is a negative. Sometimes no leads us right to the yes we didn’t even know was waiting, just around the corner.
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