Generation Yes: Why We’re So Afraid Of The Word ‘No’

September 4, 2017

Saying ‘yes’ all the time might be the wrong choice when thinking about your future. Maybe being fearless is learning how to say ‘no’ sometimes. 

There are so many ups and downs that come with being young, inspired and hungry to learn.

We’re all searching for that something that’s going to ‘click’ with us, leading us towards unimaginable greatness.

So, we accept. We accept project and task and errand and everything that we think we may have interest in, hoping that someday, somewhere, sometime soon — ‘click.’

We feel inclined — or rather, we feel responsible to offer the words ‘yes’ to anyone who asks.

But by constantly being rattled by the notion that turning down something – anything — is a setback or a missed opportunity, we’re hurting ourselves.

We act on our desires of impulse, hoping to yield results of quick adventure and financial independence. We scavenge to get close to nearly everything, begging for that ‘click,’ and wondering where the hell it is each time we throw ourselves head first into endeavors that leave us clueless and exhausted.

I’m one of the ‘yes’ generation.

I’ve chased that ‘click’ factor many times, taking on too much to hold in the hands I was given. I have let impulse and desire and lust uproot my life from New York, my first love, and convince me to move to Australia hoping that somewhere in between a time difference and ocean, I’d find… ‘it’.

And that’s okay. We’re allowed to be the gung-ho yes generation that our parent’s generation makes us out to be. We’re allowed to be impulsive, believe in fate, and cherish the fact that we’re brave and fearless. So long as we don’t let every Snapchat, Instagram, or blog post descend us into a web of self-doubt, causing us to measure our accomplishments and desires against those around us.

It’s okay to set goals and chase them in a healthy, mindful way. But it’s equally important not to be afraid to say no to the ‘opportunities’ that are really just traps and distractions interfering with our happiness and ultimate success. Here’s how to recognize when it’s okay to back away…

Approach Opportunities With An Open Mind

Before jumping at the instant ‘yes’ that rolls off your tongue, you have to be able to ask yourself: is this something that will hurt me or hurt somebody around me?

“Happiness is very important, but that’s not the only component you should consider,” says Manella Health & Wellness family practice physician, Dr Susan Manella.

“It’s okay to say no if you feel that [a situation] is going to be detrimental to your health, if you feel that you are not going to be able to adequately balance work and life, if you feel that you’re not going to get the correct — or the adequate amount of rest and exercise and proper diet to maintain a proper lifestyle. You have to think of yourself, your health, and your needs first before you say ‘yes’ to something.”

If you can step back and implement a ‘pause’ period to reset and evaluate the situation, odds are you’ll be able to make a decision that better suits you, not one based on guilt or obligation to others.

Don’t Do It Alone

“It’s important to have somebody that you can run something by that’s really going to have your best interest at heart and give you constructive criticism,” explains Manella.

Weighing those trusted opinions when it comes to making decisions about your possible future endeavors is healthy, because they offer insight into a perspective different than yours that’s always worth considering.

If those people guide you towards saying ‘no’ to an opportunity, it’s probably for the benefit of your happiness or health.

Keep A Schedule

In our generation of go, go, go, it’s extremely easy to become double-booked, agreeing to more than we can feasibly attend to. That’s where scheduling comes in; a schedule is a quick and easy way to monitor just how much you’re saying yes to, and can save you from agreeing to take on more than is practical.

“Unless you are a very good multitasker — you have to schedule your day appropriately so that you have the proper amount of time to complete your task in the professional, accurate manner,” says Manella.

“You want to make sure that you’re not just pushing everything in at the same time and then not doing something properly. And always schedule time for your personal needs.”

Make YOU Time

Prioritizing ‘me’ time as often as possible, even at the expense of turning down a few obligations or social invites, is a critical self-care practice that’s essential for managing your physical and mental wellbeing.

Whether it’s taking a long shower and belting out throwbacks as the steam fills the room or eating chocolate in your sweats on the couch while reading that book you’ve been dying to get to, go for it. Wherever possible, try to make that alone time a quiet time, so you can power down for a while and allow your brain and body to grab some much needed rest and rejuvenation.

So, heed the message, don’t be afraid of weighing your options as you continue on your quest for that ‘click.’ Consider yourself in the process and be conscious of what’s best for you in terms of your ultimate health and happiness.

Never be afraid of taking a step back and offering up the words ‘no’ or ‘I can’t,’ every so often; because not everybody was meant for everything, including you.

Images via giphy.com and favim.com.

Comment: What measures have you gone to hoping to find that ‘click?’


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