Have you ever wanted to say no but then felt guilty and said yes, only to wish you had just said no and kept it moving? I will admit, I have. I am not sure why we tend to have a problem with saying no. It’s only two letters, a complete sentence, it doesn’t require a definition but yet it’s one of the hardest words for us to use in our vocabulary and one of the hardest words to hear said to us. Is it because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, or because we figure saying yes will add to our brand or social life; Maybe it’s because of weakness, they know we always say yes so you say yes to please them? Is it because the times we’ve heard the word no were times when we personally wanted a yes? Is it because we have been conditioned to believe no is this horrible reply or is it because in our minds we don’t deserve a no so we don’t tell others no? Let’s chat about it.
Saying no has been tied to such negative connotation that I think we have been programed to believe that saying no or being told no is a bad thing. Think about it, you apply for a job and don’t get it, although the feedback you receive is more defined, the bottom line is “no” you didn’t get the job. As a child you ask for something and your parents tell you “no”, they really don’t give a reason other than because I said so. What about the “no” that isn’t even spoken, the quiet no? Yes, there is a unspoken no. Let’s see, you were the highest producer at work, yet your unproductive co-worker gets the accalades, that’s a quiet no, or it’s award season and you see all the other women getting awards and you know you have done far more but yet your name isn’t listed, that’s a quiet no. What about that promotion at work, where you think, “I know this is my season” but they don’t even mention it during your review, another quite no. All these examples have been tied to being negative and therefore we have allowed this to be the reason why we are hesitant with saying no. We don’t want others feeling bad or sad, yet we scarafice ourselves and say yes, when we really should have said no. I’ve learned no isn’t such a bad thing after all.
If you follow me, you can often find me making post on social media and I often follow it by saying “it’s a mindset, how you think is everything”. I say that becuase how you think about something will determine how you respond to it. So, when you say no, think about it as a positive thing for yourself. It’s a relief, it’s a confidence builder, it’s a game changer, it’s a time manager, it gives you control and it gives you energy. When you hear no, think about it the same way, it’s not always negative. Maybe that job just wasn’t for you at this time, maybe there are some things about the job like long hours, travel or hidden things you dont know, maybe that no was really protecting you. When you hear no, use that as fuel to motivate you, inpsire you and empower you to do something to change how you say no, and how you accept no.
I wanted to share my perspective on the positive side of no and the personal benefits that come with saying no. Yes, no can be a positive life changing thing when used on purpose.
- You gain CONTROL of your life when you say no.
- Saying no allows you to control what happens, when it happens and how it happens. Get in the habit of taking control of your life by using no when you know that right now isn’t a good time for you to loan money, take on another project, be the uber for the neighborhood kids, serve as the leader on a board or committee, be the host for the girls night or just doing small favors when asked. Control what you allow on your “yes” list and see how easy you take back control of your life.
- You have more TIME available to you when you say no.
- Have you ever got a invitaion then another invitation for the same day at a later time? What do you do, you try to rearrange your life, make adjustments, figure out how long it will take you to get there from here. Honeslty you have just waisted some good time just trying to figure out how you are going to make time. Look, that’s just to much energy in one day. Take some time and see which event will be most benefical to you, then kindly decline the other event. This gives you time to attend one and time for yourself the remainder of the day.
- You have more ENERGY when you say no.
- You ever notice when you say yes, sometimes you get anxiety because now you have to figure out how to make it happen when all along you should have said no becuase you know that you really don’t have the time to keep that committment. Saying no gives you energy. Think about it, you ever said no and it felt like a brick was lifted off your shoulder? That release is energy and you now feel like you have this new found power, well that’s the power of no.
- You gain more CONFIDENCE when you say no.
- Saying no and knowing that it’s truly the best reply for you means you are saying yes to yourself. Your confidence is built because you have shown yourself that you matter most. As strong as the word no can be, you are actualy stronger than the word. Saying no boosts your confidence, it gives you power. You see yourself stronger and not weakend by the feeling of guilty that often comes with saying no. Create a no affirmation, I AM Confident in my no!
- You find PEACE when you say no.
- Have you ever struggled thinking about how you are going to say no or should you say yes, or try to reason with your own self on how you should repsond. You literlly spend days trying to see how you can say no. You even have a conversation with yourself about; well if I say no then, or maybe I should just say yes and keep it moving. OMG, this takes up all your energy, you lose control, your waisting your time, you have no confidence in your own ability to say no. Find your peace and be at peace when you just say no. A Peace of mind is a terrible thing to lose.
- Adjust your HEARING when you are told no.
- Don’t dwell on what you heard (no), rather think about why it was said. If you dwell on no you will only attribute it to negative things like “I’m not good enough”, not qualified enough etc.., but think about the why. Is it because they required 3 years experience and you only had 2, is it because the award was for women in education and you work in medicine, is it because this may not be your time/season? When we see the why in the no maybe you can accept it better and not internalize it as this negative thing. Change the way you think and watch what happens.
If you find it difficult to say no, practice, talk it out and convience yourself that you deserve to say no and it’s okay! Know that your no doesn’t require a reason. If it matters to you, change how you use no; No, not this time; No Thank You or say Maybe Later. When you use no just know that your no doesn’t come with a counter offer, meaning don’t allow them to challange your answer. Trust, you will have peace of mind when you use no to take control of you life.