There’s one thing in life that I’m not the best at and (in all honesty) has really always been a struggle for me… learning to say NO. I need to get better and learn to say NO to things that I just can’t fit in, do at the moment or even really want to do. I’m a YES girl. I always have been. If someone asks me to do something, I say YES and figure it out later. This has worked for me well for 40 years, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to realize the power in saying NO for yourself. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a smart thing when it needs to be said.
Learn to Say NO
This morning I had one of those “ah-ha” moments. I’ve had my workout clothes on since Sunday morning. I’m not kidding – sports bra, workout pants, cotton tank – it’s been on since yesterday morning. We did an early morning stroll for a dear friend and all I wanted to do later in the day was go for a nice run. The weather was spot on and I knew I just wanted to enjoy the warm weather because I’ve been waiting for it for months. But there were so many other things that kept popping up that needed to get done. Laundry. Emails. Photos for the week. Dinner prep. Kitchen floor needed to be cleaned. Every single thing that needed to get “done,” I did INSTEAD of just working out.
I said NO to the worst person of all, myself.
I went to bed so frustrated, which I hate to do. And I laid in bed thinking about a conversation I recently had with a friend last week. She was telling me that she says “No” to things now that she just doesn’t have time to do. And she shrugged her shoulders and said, “It’s just the way it is, I can only do so much.” We have different circumstances in life personally and professionally, so she can say NO a lot easier than I can to work things or life things, but I left our conversation thinking to myself, “Why don’t I do that?”
I don’t say NO to anything. I mean, to ANYTHING.
I’m afraid I’m going to hurt someone or upset someone. I always make the time to make something work even when I don’t want to. I just don’t know how to say the magic word of NO.
My friend didn’t realize that in that moment last week, she genuinely awoke something inside of me. It’s not a bad thing to say no. Sometimes you need to learn to say no for your own well being. It’s not essential in life to just always be a yes girl. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do for yourself is to learn to say no. To honor the voice the within. To listen to that inner being. To know that by saying no to somethings in life is like giving yourself a gift.
I started to draft out some questions for myself on the NO front:
1. Will saying NO hurt someone I love?
2. Will saying NO impact my relationship with someone you like/love?
3. Will saying NO hurt me professionally?
4. Will saying NO hurt me later on?
5. Will saying NO make it difficult for someone else?
And these are really the 5 questions I’m going to ask myself when it comes to deciding whether or not I want to do something or not. Or better yet, need to do something or not.
I need to get better at giving myself permission to say NO. I mean – I give my permission to hustle, and I’ve built a business around it. So I just need to take that same philosophy and use it towards saying no. I’ve said it 100 times, giving yourself permission to hustle isn’t a bad thing. You go out there and go full steam after your passions and dreams. When you give yourself permission to say no, it’s also a gift. You’re giving yourself permission to look at something and decide if it’s good for you or not.
I’m not a fan of having a full schedule from morning to night, especially on the weekends. I love to be with my family and just enjoy the weekend. I love to DO things together. So I can tell you right now, if there’s anything on the weekends that doesn’t incorporate my kids or my husband, I feel like I now just have to stop and think if it’s going to work.
Sometimes in life we need to have these moments that help define us, help define what’s important and what’s not. Saying NO isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes saying NO is the best thing we can do for ourselves at the time. Sometimes saying NO is the most amazing thing of all. Sometimes saying NO is the best way to honor yourself and your family and your life.
I’ve only learned this lesson at 40 years old. I know it’s never too late to learn “new” tricks, but I think as I get older I’m just more in tune with what needs to be. I love my work. I love my family. I love my friends. I love taking care of myself. I give them them my all 100% of the time every single day. Or – at least I try to! I’m not 100% at all of these things at the same time. Not by any means! This is why learning to say NO is something that I need to start doing.
How do you say NO?
How did you learn it was OK to say NO?
I had a friend that gave me the best advice of all, start saying YES to NO.
I love being able to share here and be honest. I blogged about thinking about Someday with my Kids a few weeks ago and it really felt nice to share.
I also love this read on Medium.com called, “Here’s a Simple Strategy for Finding Personal Fulfillment” – it’s awesome and I think it’s worth a good read!