…and I don’t feel guilty about doing it – not one little bit.
Elton John once sang “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”, but I would like to confirm that is unequivocally incorrect. As a matter of fact, ‘no’ is officially the hardest word for us all to say. It fills us with fear so intense, it’s as if we’re all allergic to it.
“Would you like to go out tomorrow night?” comes the dreaded question every introvert fears.
“Sure thing,” we lie, crying inside.
“Let’s watch this violent action film you’ve previously said is your worst nightmare brought to life on the big screen!”
“I’d love to,” we say through painfully gritted teeth.
What’s wrong with us? We are addicted to saying ‘yes’ in the same way we’re addicted to sugar, and it’s just as bad for our health. We give in to requests when we have no spare time, roll over in bad relationships, take on double our workload just so we don’t get fired, and pay for dinner when we really can’t afford it.
And before we know how on earth it happened, our lives have morphed into a long, exhausting mountain trek when what we really booked in for was a spa treatment. We look down at our outfit, our shoes, our walking pole and backpack and think to ourselves, ‘Hang on a minute, this is not the comfy, fluffy white robe I had in mind. Where are my luxurious slippers – and why is this my life?’
Our existence has turned into a bad movie (worse than Freaky Friday, if that’s even possible). We’re in a relationship where we don’t feel valued, stuck in a job we loathe, and out when we want to be at home – all in a body that needs sleep.
It’s time to learn the power of ‘no’, the two letters that can literally turn our lives around.
For years I found it impossible to say it; it got stuck in my throat like a fistful of sand. I ran myself ragged until I fell on the floor, coughed up the sand and forced myself to add the tiny word to my vocabulary.
As with anything in life, to begin with it should be enjoyed in moderation until you have acquired a taste for it. When I started to say ‘no’, I became quite fascinated by its power; it’s like the miniature smiling assassin who’s secretly learnt kung fu.
The more I said it, the more time I had to myself again, and my thoughts were finally given the chance to run free in my now less-cluttered mind.
I started doing different things with the time I had reclaimed, things I really wanted to do. My life started to look a bit less like a whizzing whirlwind and more like a calm, sunny landscape. Life became a lot more manageable, fun and all a bit more, well, me. I was so swept up in the constantly crashing, overpowering waves of ‘yes’ that I’d almost forgotten who I was.
Life shouldn’t be filled with dread. There is another way to live – and it all begins with two teeny letters. So repeat after me: “N – O”.
Image via weheartit.com.
Comment: Did you go from being a ‘yes’ woman to an assertive ‘no’ lover? How has it changed your life?