There are only two words that will always lead you to success. Those words are yes and no. Undoubtedly, you’ve mastered saying yes. So start practicing saying no. Your goals depend on it! Jack Canfield
When I was a little girl, growing up in the 50s and 60s, ‘No’ was not an acceptable response.
Don’t be difficult.
Quit making trouble.
These were the responses to my ‘no’.
So I learned to say yes. Yes I’m okay. Yes I’ll do that. Yes. I’ll be there. Even when I meant no.
Believing I always had to say yes taught me to be accommodating. It taught me to accept the unacceptable. It taught me to lie and manipulate. To undermine myself and others. Not believing I had the right to say no taught me to disregard my needs and always put other’s needs first.
Not saying no taught me to disregard my dreams, my voice, myself.
Now, I’m not saying it’s not important to consider others needs or to say yes when appropriate. As a mother, being able to say yes was invaluable. Yes meant my daughters and I wandered under clear blue skies, examining every petal of a flower, picking up worms and moving them from the sidewalk to the grass so they wouldn’t get squished. Yes meant leaving the dirty dishes on the table to go outside and explore the rain. It meant dancing around fires and singing about witches in the backyard, and hurling eggs at the firepit to work anger out.
Yes lead to lots of adventure.
But, saying yes when I wanted to say no caused confusion.
My daughters would ask for something. I’d say yes, think about it and come back with a no. “But you said we could!” was a running theme in our house. And my response, “I’ve changed my mind,” only added confusion.
Where the yes that was meant to be a no had the most damage though was within myself. I’d commit to doing something for someone when really, I didn’t have the time, nor the interest to do it, and then, rather than actually confess to my misguided direction, I’d stall, hide, not do, and even lie about why I hadn’t got it done.
Yes has not been my friend when it comes to managing my own time, and my dreams.
But I still don’t like — NO! And I don’t want to do things I don’t like to do anymore.
Which is why, I’m moving into YES! in a whole new way.
I’m moving out of yes I’ll do it because you asked into Yes! I will take the time to consider your invitation and tell you the truth about what I want to do. And, no, I don’t mind that you have to wait for my answer. I’m okay with thinking long and hard about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and whether or not I want to do it in the first place!
I’m moving into yes I am willing to do what it takes to live the life of my dreams, and getting out of saying yes to all the flotsam floating by enticing me out of my no, I don’t have time or interest or desire for that.
What I’ve learned in life is that my yes has put a no on so many things I want to do I’ve run out of ways to say yes when I mean no!
Saying yes because I thought it was required has meant I haven’t turned up for me and my dreams.
And I’m not prepared to do that anymore. I’m not prepared to waste my time saying yes to all the things I don’t want in my life, and don’t really want to do when my No is waiting for me get into action and be present in my life so that I can say YES to living this one wild and precious life in the rapture of now.
I may have been born in the 50s, but I’m living in the new millennium right now. And right now is all I’ve got to live.
I may as well live it in the know of what I know to be true — no one can keep me from living the life of my dreams, except me.
And no one else can live my life for me!
It’s up to me to let go of saying yes to what others want of me, or for me to start saying yes to what I want for me! It’s time to stop saying yes because I want to be nice and start saying no because I am a woman of integrity. A woman who believes in herself and knows, sometimes no is the only way to get the yes she wants.
My life. My way.
May your day be filled with a thousand yeses to living the life of your dreams as you say no to the things that would pull you from your path of beauty and light.
************** This is a Throw Back Thursday post — this post originally appeared on my original blog, Recover Your Joy on September 19, 2011. ***************