Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Do you have a hard time saying No? Many of us do. So what do we do instead?

  • We say Yes and then beat ourselves up for being weak.

  • We say Yes and resent the individual we said yes to.

  • We say Yes and then don't do what we committed to and feel guilty or even create reasons why it was okay to not honor our commitment

  • We say Yes and then complete the task we committed to with less than our best effort because we didn't really have the time to make the commitment in the first place.

  • So why do we do it? For most of us, saying no is contrary to what we have been taught. It's not polite to say no, even if saying yes is damaging to us.

    I learned to say no by trusting my gut. When I am asked to commit to do something, I asked myself how it would feel to say yes. A heaviness or uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach keys me into the fact that I really want to say no and I used that opportunity/feeling to bow out of the situation.

    And here's the interesting thing, once I started saying no more often, I found myself giving more and doing more for others. But this time the giving was with less effort, less emotion and more joy.

    “A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.” ~Groucho Marx

    “Drawing on my fine command of language, I said no.” ~Unknown

    Say “No” to at least one request of you each day this week. Don't give excuses. How did it feel? What did you do with the time you freed up for yourself?

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