Can you say NO?

Lately I have become more aware of my heart’s desires. You would think that it’s something we all have crystal clarity on but it turns out that what we want is often mired beneath the murky waters of our daily life! The day-to-day rigors of being a parent, a partner or even (especially) an employee/employer leave us little time to sit back and dream. And then there’s the inability to say NO! We feel obligated to help everyone– – we take on way more than we can chew and then we wonder why we are stretched thin. That sentence in our job description of life ‘…and other duties as assigned’ is something we take seriously. We are after all a society of multi-taskers, we can definitely take on just one more responsibility– and then our innate work ethic, the one that requires us to do everything to the best of our ability kicks us into overdrive and we spend all hours fulfilling our responsibility. Even and especially at the cost of ourselves and the balance of our family!

So what are somethings you can do to simplify your life? Shed some layers and work to unearth the real you! How can you make time in your day to spend time in quiet reflection?

1. It’s OK to say No! – at a recent seminar I attended one of my table mates had an interesting internal process that he’d devised for himself to see what made sense to take on– Value vs. Risk – does the thing you’re about to take on add value to your life and your bottom line goal (do you know what that is) or does it risk you spreading yourself too thin?

2. Limit yourself – My sister in law once shared with me how her kids were only ever allowed to be enrolled in 2 activities at a time- and that if they wanted to do something different then they had to make choices. Employ this same tactic for yourself! Don’t spread yourself too thin. You end up not doing anything well.

3. Quitting is not failure – recognizing that something that was working is no longer working or is no longer aligned with your passion and goals is a powerful tool if you’re willing to ‘go there.’ There’s no shame in taking a hiatus or simply walking away. The relief you will feel afterward will validate your decision.

4. Be fiercely protective of your limited free time – before you say Yes to the next request on your time – ask them for the time to think about it. And then don’t think of it only from their standpoint. Rather think of it from yours! What will you have to give up to make room for this? Is it worth it? Could you be doing something with/for yourself or your family during this time instead? What will this do for YOU in the long run? And if you don’t like the answers – say NO!

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2 Replies to “Can you say NO?”

  1. Thank you for this beautiful post. I read this post in the morning and and started thinking “can I say No”? In that evening I had to say no ten times out loud to friends offering me something that I did not want to do and had to say no silently to myself many times more after being heavily criticised for not obliging to their wish.
    In the past whenever I said no, the criticism forced me to say yes because of the guilt, because I used to think that my no is selfish and is breaking someone’s heart, so I kept on breaking my own heart for the sake of someone else’s happiness. Rumi says ” no one likes a martyr that is why they always kill the martyr at the end”
    I had a break down a year ago because I could not say no to people and their demands, by people I mean my family and friends. Every yes, left a crack in my spirit and finally I broke down and out of the prison of “YES”. Those who truly loved me unconditionally stayed with me even after I said no and those who were around for the Yes woman are fading away as I say no to them more often.

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