by Julie Furlong
I’m one of those suckers who is always saying YES it’s against my grain to say NO, as I have a natural behaviour of wanting to help. People normally expect me to say YES, because that’s the way it has always been. I say yes because I want to get someone’s attention; I want to make sure everyone is happy; I’m afraid I will disappoint someone, or I would hurt their feelings; I am terrified of being rejected; or I just feel guilty. These are the thoughts that race through my crazy mind as I think about saying NO, so I most often just blurt out a reluctant YESSSSSS.
As life has gone by, though, I have learnt the hard way that saying NO is very powerful (if I can bring myself to say it, of course). Yes, it’s hard to say, but it is sometimes necessary to help you live a sane life, leaving some space for what you really want. (Read: Good life habits)
After analysing my over the top urge to be agreeable, it got me thinking. We need to ask ourselves why is it so important to please everyone and what will really matter in the long run? Here is why you need to say NO (sometimes) to improve your life, your own sanity, and get it all into perspective:
Here is why you need to say NO (sometimes) to improve your life, your own sanity, and get it all into perspective:
- Saying NO creates space in your life for the right and excited yeses to do something that will make you happy and complete who you are, rather than doing the things that drain you.
- Saying NO to the people that make you feel like crap creates room in your life for the people that make you feel good and really love you for being you.
- Saying NO will avoid the resentment, anguish, and stress you will feel later for saying yes to the wrong thing.
- Saying NO helps you to create your own rules and boundaries in life, providing the room to honour your truth and to understand yourself and your priorities better.
We now know (from the above) why we need to say no, however, if you need some help on how to do it, I found this three-step plan helpful. (21 ways to give a good NO.)
It’s your life, which means you make your decisions. It’s not worth saying yes when you don’t want to do something. In the end, what will really matter is living a life for you and your beliefs, not for others who judged you because you had to say ‘NO’ on the odd occasion. I realise this is not just a challenge that I face, but one that many people go through every day. It’s a heavy burden to carry because with the urge to say yes also comes a lack of confidence. Learning to say NO and understanding the power of saying NO has been one of the best things for me. It’s help me manage my life for the better and freed up my time for the things I really want to do. (Read Keep Dreaming). So, come on have a go and say NO (sometimes), challenge yourself. Saying no, especially when it’s uncomfortable to do so, is one of the most powerful steps you can take in your own personal growth.