How many times have you found yourself trapped by a ‘yes’? (A ‘yes’ might also be an ‘OK’ or simply a nod).
To say ‘yes’ means to involve yourself in something, to take part. It’s tremendously positive when it really is what you want to do. When you say ‘yes’ from your heart any result of the activity or project will be positive. You’ve done it because you wanted to, because you desired it or because you felt it.
To say ‘yes’, unfortunately, is not always an answer that we give in this way. Many times we say ‘yes’ because we simply don’t dare to say no. That can be because “it’s what I’m supposed to do”, or “it’s my responsibility”, or “because I can’t disappoint somebody”, or “because if not, what will they say?”, or maybe “because otherwise I’ll lose something”. In all cases, these distorted “yes” come from a position of fear.
What those “yes” represent is a renunciation. We renounce what is important for us, what we really need in that moment. We renounce our personal power. What we do is surrender what should be our priority – to take care of ourselves.
Sadly, it’s much easier to say “yes” than to say “no”. Nobody ever taught us to say “no”. At home and at school, what was important was doing what we were meant to do and if it could be done without making noise, then so much the better. But what about us?
Taste the Flavour of Choice
Now we are not children anymore, but we keep on behaving as if the only way of feeling secure and happy was surrendering to any external demands. Some of us are specialists in saying “yes” to any request in the workplace, however unreasonable it may be. Some others are very good at saying “yes” to any demand that comes from within the family. Some of us say “yes” to anything, wherever it comes from!
Saying “no” can be tremendously difficult. It puts you up against the ropes of all your programming. Next time somebody proposes something like, for example, going for lunch with your mother-in-law, working extra hours to finish something, looking after your daughter’s children again – or whatever it is that you really don’t fancy doing – don’t say “yes” immediately because it’s “what you have to do”. For one moment, try to imagine how you would feel if you said “no”. Really taste what it could be like to say “no”. What would that do for you?
There are times when making a small effort is fine, and we feel happy about it, but there are other times when what we really need is to take care of ourselves. Those are the moments when we have to honour ourselves and respect our own needs. They can be simple moments in which we just need a well-deserved rest, or they can be key moments in which we need to reassert our own way.
Both cases are equally powerful because what we are doing is taking ourselves into account. It’s possible that we feel guilty or anguished by saying “no”, but if it is what is needed we’ll be astonished by the positive consequences it brings us.
Sometimes the big steps are made by saying “yes”. Sometimes the big steps are made by saying “no”.
To your authentic expression,