It has such negative connotations. People cringe when you say it and tend to view you differently when you use it regularly. But sometimes you just have to be bold and use it anyway; they will get it later and you may be better off for it. Yes, we all know what that dreaded n* word is. Yep, it’s exactly what you think, the word, no.
‘No’ seems to be an ugly word, especially among women because much of our self-worth is tied into doing for others. We tend to be interminable givers. To say that we can’t or won’t deems us less valuable or lacking in our ability to fulfill our duties as loving, giving human beings. Well, let’s squash that myth.
It seems we’re inundated with opportunities and someone is always after our time. Everyone has a seminar, a new group or an invention and apparently we would be absolutely foolish not to delve into it, right now. Today. They need our help planning an event or writing something up quickly. It’ll be a breeze for you. You’re a writer. It would take me far too long.
Understand that I love helping people. I love to give. I gain great pleasure from both. We all have causes close to our heart, we all want to give when and where we can. But when it is time to say ‘no’ or take a pass we must do it with the same confidence in which we say ‘yes’.
People tend to put no more value on your time than you do. It’s not a slam to others, it’s simply human nature. We are by nature selfish beings. We want our way.
Sometimes, simply saying ‘no, I don’t think I’ll be able to do it’ or ‘I’ll pass this time’ is sufficient. Those on the receiving end of this may take it as personal rejection. They probably won’t look at you with pride and admire you for being so upfront. Nope. But that’s O.K. as long as we are kind in the way we say it.
Now I know some of the goodwill police are ready to arrest me and I could readily defend myself, but I will simply say there have been many occasions where I have stayed up until daybreak working on other people’s projects because they needed me and how could I possibly turn them away? I’ve come home exhausted and frustrated after giving everything and feeling as though I’d lost my place. Kind of like when you digress while telling a story and then can’t seem to find your way back to where you left off. It was the hubby who told me to cut it out. The world would not (contrary to my imaginative thinking) end if I didn’t do it.
I said, “Well, I just can’t tell them no!”
Could I? Really? Well, dang, it seemed I could!
As a freelancer writer, wife and mother of three it is up to me to prioritize in order to effectively use the 24 hours I’ve been given. I know if I always make myself available to everyone and everything I will cease to be a good steward of my 24.
Saying ‘no’ sometimes is just as necessary as saying ‘yes’. It gives us time to concentrate on working effectively on projects we are skilled to do. It allows us to give to causes close to our hearts and provides gateways for others to step up and discover their gifts, talents and avenues of contribution, as we step aside.
So go ahead, say it…I dare you.