Stop doubting: day 3 – Yes or No?
No, no, no, Nannette.
What’s the first emotion that comes up for you when you think about telling your boss No? What about your husband? Best friend? Mom? The grocery store cashier who asks if you’d like to donate to XYZ fund?
For lots of us, the very IDEA of saying NO to anyone makes us feel anxious, uneasy, scared, or twisted up inside. Which means we say YES to dinner parties we really don’t want to go to, projects that are more than we can handle right now, and desserts we really don’t need. We say YES out of guilt and fear.
We worry that so-and-so will think we’re not committed, a bad person, or rude if we say No.
We’re scared that saying No will hurt someone’s feelings or make them mad.
We fear that they won’t like us anymore. Or we’ll make them unhappy. Or they’ll think we’re a bitch… all by uttering that one syllable.
Do you smell that?
All of this guilt and fear over saying “No” is a load of poop.
I’m not suggesting that you go around saying No to every living person just because you can. Oh wait, I kind of am.
That is to say, I’m suggesting that you get in touch with YOU before saying an automatic, guilt-driven YES. Because when you say an automatic yes to something you are also saying an automatic no to something else. So why not be conscious of the choices you’re making?
When presented with a request for your time (or energy or… any part of YOU), pause & take a breath. Then ask yourself: What do I want now? Notice what you really want to say to the request. Bonus: actually respond with your real (not automatic) response.