“The Value of saying No.” “The Power of saying No.” “Get better at saying No.” I feel like every article I read lately stresses the importance of learning to say “NO.” And while there is value in learning to say the word — is it at all possible to forget the importance of saying YES at some point in the process? Because I feel like I’m right there — a point in my life where I am struggling to say Yes…to anything.
I don’t think I’ve become a negative bore (at least I hope I haven’t), but I have definitely allowed myself to succumb to the comfort of the word ‘No’. I know that sounds a bit weird, but let me explain. I now use it as an excuse to avoid people and situations that I don’t feel comfortable facing. An excuse to sink back into that dreaded comfort zone that leads to nowhere. After a while it becomes so easy to turn down opportunities because well… “I’m too old for this” or “it probably won’t be a good fit anyway,” all in the name of self preservation and avoiding rejection. Except it isn’t really self preservation is it? Quite the opposite.
Creating a Balance
So how do we create a balance? How do we know which situations warrant a yes or a no? I guess the best answer to this question is ‘go with your gut.’ Deep down we all know what’s best for us, we all have a sense of what feels wrong and what feels right. Even with situations that take us out of our comfort zone, as uncomfortable as we may feel, we tend to know if it’s right for us or not.
“Life is about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but never stop improving yourself.” — Unknown
As women, we get pulled in so many different directions; taken advantage of; expected to give and give and give. It is ok to say “no” when the life is being drained out of us by people who give nothing in return, or situations that don’t serve us. It’s when we start to use the word to retreat to our safe spaces at the expense of our own well-being, that we need to be careful. This applies to every aspect of our lives, whether it be personal or business.
For each of us that balance is different, but I believe we know it when we find it. I know for me, saying ‘no’ was empowering at first. But I knew I had lost that balance when I no longer felt good about saying it. Or when I started feeling like I was missing out on new opportunities and new relationships. I knew I had lost that balance when I stopped growing. There’s a difference between avoiding situations that no longer serve you, and avoiding situations that scare you. That has been my struggle these past few years.
I’m Saying Yes To….
LIFE!!!! Because there comes a point amid all those NOs when you stop taking chances, and you stop living. Trust me, merely existing in that little corner you call a safe space isn’t living, and I should know. That corner has been my home for longer than I care to admit.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES! The best decisions I’ve made in my life are the ones that pushed me way outside of my comfort zone, as scary as they were. Sometimes saying yes to one opportunity can open the door to a million other possibilities. It’s easy to forget that fact when you’re faced with feeling uncomfortable.
NEW RELATIONSHIPS! It’s okay to keep your circle small, but that doesn’t mean you have to shut yourself off from meeting new people. Forming new relationships help you to grow both personally and professionally.
NEW EXPERIENCES! New experiences open you up to new challenges and adventures, and can be both exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time. But you do get to learn new things about yourself. One of my goals for next year is to take a solo trip to a country I’ve never visited. Nervous, yes….excited, yesssssss.
LOVE! And maybe this comes under new relationships, but I feel like it needs to have its own shine. So many times the reason we get comfortable saying NO is because of a Love that has disappointed us. The rejection and the hurt that sometimes come with giving a piece of your heart to someone can scar you for life. But I’m saying yes to dating, and opening myself up to the possibilities.
“Say yes to the open door. Say yes to the situations that stretch you and scare you and ask you to be a better you than you think you can be. Say yes to the movement that will only come once.” ―
In my quest to find true happiness, I’m learning that it is not something you can request from the universe. True happiness is indeed what you make it, and it’s already inside each of us. You just have to say yes to it.