Why is saying no so hard?
There have been seasons in my life where I kept saying yes when I wanted to say no.
Yes to that activity.
Yes to that expectation.
Yes to that commitment.
My desire to please everyone around me grew so overwhelming that I'd make myself queasy by saying yes even when I felt no.
I know there's nothing wrong with the word yes.
But there's also nothing wrong with the word no.
Nearly every time I see a dear friend of mine, she says "No is a very good word."
And every time I ear her say it, something shifts in my gut.
Something that feels like truth.
When was the moment we started valuing yes over no? I mean really, at what point in history did all of humanity sit down for the joint meeting where we decided that yes outranked no?
(If that meeting did take place, I clearly wasn't invited.)
Let's take a step back for a sec.
Yes is a word.
No is a word.
Yes has meaning.
No has meaning.
Saying yes is a decision.
Saying no is a decision.
So really, the real question is:
What choice do we want to make?
What do we really want? Really.
I've noticed that I often avoid making choices when I've convinced myself that pleasing people is more important that showing up in my life as me.
And when I head down that road, I usually default to saying yes.
Whether I mean it or not.
Saying yes when I mean no tends to lead to:
So I'm learning to say no when I mean no, and yes when I mean yes.
It's been a challenging process. One where I'm creating space to think about the stories I believe, and making the conscious choice to decide which stories I want to keep and which ones I want to release.
And one story I'm (slowly) releasing is The Story That No is Worse Than Yes.
(Like I said, this is hard.)
As I release The Story That No is Worse Than Yes, something pretty magical is happening.
Instead of staying stuck in silent resentment, I'm being more honest about my emotions.
Instead of pushing myself to please, I'm learning how to show up as I really am, and trust that connection will grow where it's meant to.
Instead of staying stuck being unable to make a decision because I'm afraid of disappointing someone, I'm learning how to breathe deep and check my gut.
And one day at a time, I'm noticing that my life looks more like a story I want to live, instead of like the expectations I always thought I had to fulfill.
There's less resentment.
Less exhaustion birthed from internal disappointment.
Less choices that lead to unhealthy boundaries.
It's an unfamiliar path, but sometimes we've got to try something new to discover a story we'd love to live.
This is a tough one to share. Do you struggle with this too?