A lot of us have difficulty saying no. There are so many things that can be triggered just at the thought of saying no. What if we are rejected or judged or just not listened to?
There was a time where I was a “Yes, yes, yes” person. You need help moving? YES! You need a babysitter?! Yes! You need support… a dog watcher…time….money…the shirt off my back? YES! UGH! I was so busy saying yes to everyone else that I rarely had time to say yes to myself.
I finally started changing this around when I found that all these people I was saying yes to, were not saying yes to me. It is not for me to say whether or not these people were selfish or not willing to be there for me, it was a matter of my ability to be able to be clear with my request for their support. I found that there were times when I was not being completely honest and clear with what I needed and then I would hold it against someone that they weren’t meeting my needs. That was a fun learning process…NOT!
There were other times when I would ask for something and my requests weren’t heard. Sometimes it was a matter of needing emotional support and again I found the same thing I wasn‘t being clear enough AND there were times that I was very clear and the person chose not to be there for me. Either way, I needed to evaluate when I show up with yes and when I show up with no.
I decided that NO would be my go-to answer for everything. I would say no or sometimes “NO, I don’t think that will work for me, but if that changes I will let you know.” When I came from a place of no it wasn’t just a no to the other person, it was a YES to me! I decided I would only do the things that I wanted to do, the things that filled me, brought me joy or helped me in some way. I wanted my giving to be connected to my receiving and I would not settle for half in either direction.
I discovered that I was not saying no more than before and I realized that my yes was so much more meaningful. When I made the decision to be in my NO, unless I was intentionally in my yes, I found so much more gratitude for all the things I was doing. There was no more reciprocal expectations attached to what I was doing for others.
It was so important for me to learn that my NO was ok. Just as others have the choice to do for me or not, I have the choice to do for others. I can say no and sometimes I need to say no. I need to choose me first. My no is part of me and I get to use it when I want to. I owe it to myself and others to use my no when that is what I want and it makes my yes that much more juicy and valuable.
So what if we are rejected, judged or not listened to because of our no? I get it. That can be a fearful, uncertain place. This is where the choice between making yourself or others happy comes in. In my last Blog I talked about making boundaries. Your No is a boundary. Your no is you letting others know where the line is. Again, you come to the place where you need to make a decision about what compromises you are willing to make. Personally, I think the fear we encounter when speaking our no is frequently bigger than the risk that is actually present. So I dare you! Use your no! You deserve it!