Since the day we were born, we’ve all been raised in the belief that NO only means prohibition and rejection. This reminds me of that day I questioned why we are not taught to lose. We are chasing the acceptance, the success, and all the positive connotations of everything, we are brought up to be obedient and act for the sake of the others.
Let me tell you something. At age 37 I’ve finally learned to say NO, and for the first time I’ve understood that it can also mean freedom of choice and determination. And I’ve recently discovered there’s some deal of satisfaction and pleasure in saying it.
Just think for a moment. How many times have you accepted doing something you didn’t want to which wasn’t implying any benefit for you except for pleasing someone? I might sound selfish, but I’m not. I’m devoted to my beloved, been an idiot and a puppet when I was deep into a relationship. and love making people around happy, so as to contribute to their happiness. And I really mean it. But at some point, in order to make sure you are the number one priority in your own life, sometimes you have to set a limit, always bearing in mind you’re not really bothering anyone.
Few days ago I was chatting with my parents and the subject of summer holidays was brought up, because I was considering my attendance at a festival near my parents’ summer getaway. I saw some hope in their eyes for an instant, as if they were expecting me to say something about joining them for few days. Of course that wasn’t gonna happen, and for the first time in all these years, rather than repeating the same excuse (which is real), I explained them I don’t fit there anymore, and would feel locked and wouldn’t have fun. Perhaps it was shocking at first, but at the end of the day it was honest, and I’m sure they perceived it as such.
This is an example of what I’m talking about.
Sometimes you get involved in plans you don’t feel like participating in, just because. Sometimes you don’t feel like doing something for no apparent reason, and if you are honest, people look at you disappointed, because honesty is sometimes not so well assumed as a lie. You know, I was telling someone that if you are committed to do something is because you want and you’re 200% convinced and motivated. Otherwise it’s a waste of time, and you won’t get satisfied, and probably the others won’t be as pleased as they’d expect either.
There are sometimes you have to say NO because you also know your limits and your capacity to face and focus certain circumstances and events, and your performance will be worse than usual. It is time to be humble and admit you just can’t do it. And if it’s not a life/death extreme situation it’s not that bad.
Thus, this chance to say NO can apply to many different scenarios, and if you use this option without abusing, I’m sure it can improve your life.
So, give it a try someday and just say NO.