“You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable.” -Ta-Nehisi Coates
I have always been a yes person. I would say yes to everything. Yes to the job I knew I didn’t want but thought I needed. Sure to every task or favor I was asked to do for others. Why not to a relationship when I wasn’t in the right place in my life? Yes to focus on a regular career to ease my parents’ minds.
Yes, because, if I said no, then what? I was terrified of saying no because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I wanted to please those around me and make sure they were happy. This almost always led me to break under the pressure every single time. I’d be left wondering why I had said yes in the world when all I wanted was to say no.
For those who fear rejection and disappointment from others, saying no is not an easy task. If you struggle with saying yes when you want to say no, this may greatly help you!
KNOW YOUR VALUE
When you know your value, you make decisions based on what makes you happy. You know you are worth more and when you deserve more, and you’re happy to create that for yourself. Living life based on the approval of others is you saying “their opinion of me is more important than my opinion of myself”. How do you feel about yourself? Are your decisions bringing you happiness? Basing your decisions off of the approval of others will only leave you feeling frustrated, resentful, and confused. You deserve good things, and you deserve to make choices that make you feel good!
YOU’RE NOT BEING SELFISH
When I first started saying no, I felt guilty and selfish for my choices. If you ever feel guilty for saying no, remember that saying no does not make you a bad person. It is not rude, careless, or inconsiderate to say no when you feel the need to. Because of guilt, I would always hold on to relationships, even the unhealthy ones. I felt too guilty to let go and say no. It is not selfish to put yourself first. Taking care of yourself is a service to you and those around you. You can do wonderful things for yourself without taking anything away from others.
“Going on a journey toward the self is actually a public service. You know why? Because until you get to the bottom of yourself — until you humbly investigate the roots of your own suffering and nonsense and misery and destructive patterns — you will just keep causing mayhem, misery and trouble…not only for yourself, but for others.” -Elizabeth Gilbert.
LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION
Our first gut reaction or feeling to a situation often tells us what we need to know. But if you’re like me and suffer from anxiety, it can be difficult to distinguish between fear and intuition. Fear disguises itself as a rational voice in your mind. It tricks you into believing and stops you from exploring the outskirts of your comfort zone. When you feel your intuition speaking to you but are unsure, take a moment to yourself. Is this decision based on fear? Is there something you are afraid of? Or, do you feel the voice from within yourself as something stronger than that? If you take the time to truly think about where your thoughts are coming from, it becomes easier to see which are driven by fear, and which come from within.
Have you ever said yes when you wanted to say no? How do you stay confident with your decisions?