The Power of NO
I’ve been a “yes girl” my whole life. I’m still a yes girl.
The difference is now it no longer works. But like so many challenges that we endure, sometimes we have to get very, very uncomfortable in order to make the change.
And I’m very, very uncomfortable these days.
I find myself saying yes to things that actually don’t work for me. They work quite well for others but not so well for me.
And I’m done.
I realize that I’ve said yes my whole life not for others but for me. I’ve said yes to be liked. I’ve said yes to be accepted. I’ve said yes to feel important. I’ve said yes to feel loved.
This is why us “yes people” say yes. Contrary to the story you’ve been telling yourself, “yes people” say yes for themselves.
We tell ourselves things like…I’m just such a giving person. I’m unendingly generous. I’m here to help everyone.
I call bullshit.
While there is certainly an element of generosity and helpfulness and giving, we actually adopt a totally different energy when we give without any checks and balances.
When we give to the point of exhaustion or self-sacrifice, it becomes a bastardization of generosity. And the only one that suffers is the giver.
Going into 2018 I’m holding two very important resolutions for myself.
The first one is to set much needed boundaries. I have people in my life that would continuously cross boundaries if I didn’t erect any. I would give to the point of exhaustion and I’ve already been there too many times. So now, I give when it works for me and I don’t when it doesn’t. Which takes me to the second resolution.
Saying No when something doesn’t work is perhaps the most loving thing you can do for yourself. And I must admit, I haven’t been overly loving to myself. The more we say yes when we really mean no leaves us in a state of self-neglect and really in no position to give anyone anything of any worth.
It is said that Mother Teresa died a deeply sad woman. It is said that she died having given everything but accepted nothing in return. And of course, where there is deep imbalance there is deep unhappiness.
Let’s make 2018 a year of balance. And for those of us that have been chronic givers, let’s learn to say no. And while we’re at it, let’s learn to receive as much as we give. We deserve it as much as anyone else.
I’ll wind this up with a simple yet profound quote by Anne Lamont. “No. Is a complete sentence.” I would encourage you to use it as often as needed.
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