I often push people to say YES and preach the importance of saying YES, but there is immense power in saying NO as well.
With a lot of life events, I’ve felt required to say yes because I never felt no was an option. ‘I SHOULD’ or ‘I HAVE TO’ were how started sentences for things I didn’t want to go to or do. Have you felt the same way? Well, blah to that, I say.
When I realized how much time I spent dreading things and complaining about them, I decided to take the power back and say NO. I was no longer letting that negativity and dread into my life. It does not serve me and the last thing I want to do is spread that negativity on to others.
I took note when I was asked to go somewhere that brought on the dread. Those things that made me want to revert into a toddler and slide out of my seat onto the floor. The first event I noticed the urge to throw a tantrum was, ironically, when I was invited to a baby shower.
Bucket of NOPES
The secret is out! The games. The awkward small talk with strangers. The games. The gift opening. No, thank you!
When I thought of all the time I had spent dreading it, picking out the perfect gift, the perfect card, the right outfit to wear to look cute, but not too cute, was far more time than I was willing to give up.
- Was the shower going to happen without me? Yes.
- Were the new parents going to get a ton of gifts anyway? Yes.
- Were the ridiculous games going on as planned? Yes.
- Was awkward small talk coupled with awkward introductions still a go? Damn, right it was.
- Did the people Oooh and Aaah at each gift? Yup!
Did I put myself through any of that? Nope.
What did I do instead? I RSVP’d no and moved on with my life, that’s what I did. I didn’t feel guilt and I definitely didn’t feel dread.
That’s a Win/Win
Besides, if your friends and family know you don’t enjoy baby showers, they don’t expect you to go and they shouldn’t. These are not required events, they are optional. That’s why RSVP’s are sent out! You didn’t get summoned, you got asked!
I first learned of the power of saying no when I read “The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck” by Sarah Knight. The author lays it all out beautifully on how saying NO is the bee’s knees and she nails it.
Since reading that book, I’ve really harnessed the power of NO. Whenever I feel dread or the word ‘should’ creeping into my brain, I stop and think about if I really really need to do this and the consequences of not doing it.
Don’t be a jerk about saying no, but don’t leave yourself open to be pushed into doing the thing you don’t want to do. Everyone has a busy life and so do you! If asked, simply tell them you can’t make it, STOP TALKING and change the subject. There is no need to discuss the dread, money, time and anything better you could be doing instead of the thing.
So, that’s it! Say no. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel dread.
Lisa, Your Bucket List Coach