Why "no" isn't a bad word.


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Have you ever said "no" and felt bad about it?

Have you ever said "yes" when you wanted to say "no" because you were afraid of disappointing someone?


Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash
For today's topic, I have some questions for you to consider:
If so, has that "yes" ever made you unhappy, or caused you to miss out on something you really wanted or needed to do for yourself because you were trying to please someone else?

Have you ever found yourself in the position of being unable to say "yes" OR "no"? Were you a solid "maybe" on that social invitation you got, never actually RSVPing to the host with a definitive answer?

I think a lot of people are hesitant to say "no" to things. I know I've been there, and I guess it's pretty normal. We're afraid of disappointing people, or not meeting someone's expectations. Or sometimes, we really want to do something and figure we can jam it into our already hectic schedules.

But does it have to be that way?

I used to think that I was pretty good at establishing healthy boundaries, and in certain areas, I am. But it's funny how a simple, 2-letter word can cause such a stir in my life, so I'm exploring why that is. I would never have put myself into the "people pleaser" category, but maybe that's what I am.

Also, I have a tendency to start too many projects or get involved in too many things, and then scramble, trying to keep it all together. I'm genuinely disappointed when I can't do it all! Who do I think I am, Superwoman?

That's pretty unrealistic, because guess what always happens when I do that?

Yep, you guessed it:

Burnout. Complete and utter exhaustion. Insomnia. Worry. Anxiety. An inability to make decisions easily. A desire to huddle myself away from the world.

The list goes on.

There's a local church I sometimes attend, and one day the pastor said something in a sermon that REALLY hit me. He was talking about integrity, and he said, "Let your 'yes' be YES and your 'no' be NO."

I don't know if this was his intent, but here's my take-away:

Make a decision. Stick to it. Have the integrity and respect for yourself and others to tell people "yes" or "no," and be solid in your answer. Don't waffle. Don't exist in the land of "maybe." Free up your mind, heart, and spirit for living your best life by making a clear choice in all you do. COMMIT.

So I've been working on that! While I still have to unlearn some of those "yes" habits, I've been saying "no" a bit more lately. And whereas in the past, I'd feel at least a little bad about saying "no," I'm finding that it's actually pretty good for me!

Want to know how?

I'm sleeping better. I don't have a million moving parts going through my mind, keeping me awake at night.

My decision-making has been much clearer, probably because I don't have a million moving parts going through my mind.

I've been able to focus more on my health and well-being. I still have a way to go, but I'm finding a little more time for exercise and meditation these days, and picking up the yarn or a book for fun more often.

I'm even letting some of my expectations of myself go. (Yes, my people-pleasing apparently applied to myself, too.) Things like: I'm the errand-runner of the household, and I used to beat myself up if I forgot an item or didn't get to the store when I wanted to. So what if I forgot to buy paper towels? I could make an Amazon order and save myself the trip, thereby freeing myself up for something that actually matters.

I've been able to focus on a few things at a time in my life instead of spreading myself too thin. For instance, I've been able to write more consistently here on positively b.e.e. and apply my energy to learning some new skills.

I'm still pretty busy, but I feel like I'm making better choices for what I say "yes" to. (Granted, I still have a lot to learn.)

I'm learning more about quality of life instead of quantity of the things in my life.

So while I'd like to say "yes" to a lot of things, I'm feeling a bit more comfortable with "no." It's not the difficult word I'd sometimes thought it to be.

Try it out and let me know how it goes!


Photo by Andy Tootell on Unsplash

Comment below or on social media and let me know how the word "no" affects you! 🐝

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Comments

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