THE POWER IN SAYING NO
Yesterday, my daughter got a call to go into work. She said no.
She wasn’t on the schedule, and she was asked if she could just sub in for someone who wasn’t able to make it in.
So she said no.
Then she came and told me.
And I was so proud. She said no. A word that I for my entire 45.95 years have had trouble saying.
She explained to me that she had been really looking forward to two days off and she had some minor plans for what she wanted to do with that time, so she opted out.
She opted out of making that bonus money. She opted out of saying yes for fear that they won’t ask her again. She opted out of saying yes in order to bolster that reputation she has built of being reliable and helpful.
So so proud.
You see, I built my life around pleasing people. I built my life around getting and giving yeses.
I built my life around the buy-in of attributes that many little girls have been brainwashed to believe matter, and maybe even matter the most.
Making others happy. Not rocking the boat.
Pleasing people. Getting a smile. A sigh of relief. A “thank you.”
It was as if I needed to showcase how yessy I was. I needed to gain a reputation for something, and being nice, compliant, and accommodating was the best I thought I could do.
It was like, forget about who you are and just worry about appeasing other people and fixate on fulfilling who everyone else is.
But Sister, that is no way to live. That is bondage.
If we are just pleasing people to satisfy our own fear of rejection, dismissal, or unpleasant response, who are we actually serving?
And is our compliance authentic?
I’d say no.
I believe in service. Giving your best version of yourself in order to further good in this world. Love, hope, inspiration, change, peace.
But I dare suggest that when our first priority is pleasing others to avoid presumptive negative consequences, we are not furthering love, hope, or anything positive.
Rather, setting out to be a “yes person” causes us to neglect the desires of our heart, the plans we have made, the choices we deemed important, all to gain the reputation of “She’ll never let you down.” Or “Ask Sally, she’ll say yes.”
Is that who we really want to be? The person who says yes when she really wants to say no? The person who denies her needs to satisfy someone else’s. The person who by devaluing herself actually sets up those people around her to do the same.
This is not to say that one should never change plans to help someone or that one should reject an invitation to work an extra shift. Sometimes we truly do want to do those things.
However, if you find yourself always saying yes, and continually feeling regret after or feel like others are using you or taking advantage or your niceness, you need to re-evaluate things.
I’m going to suggest that when we are living in our true selves, when we are answering the call to harmony, basing our decisions on what we truly want, who we want to serve, and making choices based on love and abundance, rather than fear and lack, our level of service will rise, our self-worth will rise, and our self-respect will rise.