Yes is coined the magic word. It's agreeable, non-problematic, and safe. We associate it with embracing new adventures and opportunities. On the surface, saying yes is an optimal decision, but does it bring you peace?
I've never encountered any serious issues with saying yes until recently. There's something about yesthat gradually deflates my spirit once I realize just how much I don't want to do what I agreed to do. It sounds ridiculous, but think about the last time you agreed to do something only because you felt pressured to say yes. Am I referring to peer pressure? No. This is about why we say yes when we should say no, and why we should strive to get it right the first time.
WHY BOUNDARIES MATTER
There's something about the word no that's unsettling, and it often prompts others to inquire why. While saying no comes to mind in an instant, the reason as to why no is indeed no and not a maybe, requires careful deliberation. Should you say no along with a reasonable or unreasonable rationale, you can expect a counter argument as to why you should just say yes. Maybe by the end of the conversation, your no becomes a yes or a maybe. Regardless, do you have peace with what you agreed to do?
My reservation with saying no is that I don't want to explain why. I purposefully say yes because I know it's easier. However, this isn't practical for two main reasons: (1) I then have to follow through with the agreement despite my lack of interest in doing so. (2) I may have to rescind my decision because I can't justify why I agreed to do it in the first place. Ultimately, option one is detrimental to my well-being and option two puts a strain on my relationships.
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After some self reflection, I realized that I naively value being liked more than I value being respected. Turns out, respect is what gives me peace, which means that no is a pretty powerful word. I've learned that when I feel my time, energy, and interests are respected, then my peace is secure, and my mind is at ease because I'm agreeing to do things that fit within my boundaries. Don't doubt yourself. Your boundaries do matter.
WHY WE SHOULD GET IT RIGHT
While I know my truth, speaking my truth doesn't come as easily and sticking to it is even more of a challenge once all of the counterarguments work their way into my conscious. The purpose of honing in on the power of no lies in knowing that it's ok to reject an offer. Saying no doesn't make us unlikable and saying yes doesn't make us likable. Speaking our truth the first time around is significant for two reasons: (1) YOU matter! How you allocate your time, resources, and energy impacts your being significantly. Our willingness to voice no the first around protects us from future worries, when in actuality, there's nothing to be worried about. (2) Other people matter as well. Remaining consistent in your decision prevents you from inconveniencing others and from sacrificing your accountability.
YOU'VE GOT THE POWER
This is a topic I've been wanting to tackle for months and I haven't been able to put it into words until now. My biggest obstacle has been removing the idea that the integrity of my relationships depends on my response. The reality is that people ask you to do things because they need to know whether or not you are willing to do them. It's not about your response, it's about them getting the information they need. Own your no. Know that peace is in your no.
I hope this serves as a little inspiration to not stretch yourself too thin, to remember that saying yesshould never leave you wondering if it was worth it, and that you have the power to protect your peace. As always, beYOUtiful, keep life sweet, and never stop feeding your soul. -xo