Say No to Say Yes to Yourself

  • Posted on: 17 February 2008
  • By: mokshalom

I recently had to say no to a project. It was something I enjoyed, but as I meditated on my energy levels and what I needed to accomplish in the next month, I realized I was just taking on too much. I knew that saying no would disappoint some people, but I needed to be firm.

I was reminded of Byron Katie, and how she always says no with a smile.

Sometimes it is hard to say no to people, especially when they are people you like and respect. If you sit back for a moment, you may realize that there are certain people in your life who just command involvement. This does not mean they are controlling or bad. It just means they are firm in their vision and what they are doing. They will ask you to participate with such charm and confidence that you may find yourself saying yes without thinking.

If you find yourself automatically saying yes to someone without really thinking, ask yourself why. Perhaps that other person is firmer in their vision than you are about your own life. Get clear on your goals and what you want. If what they want is a match, then great. But say yes because you want to say yes and it fits your goals, not just because you went on automatic.

Don't feel bad about saying no. Sometimes I have asked people to do something and they said yes, not because they meant to, but because they were afraid to say no. Some have resented me later for their involvement. I never stuck a gun to their head. But they didn't know how to say no. This then puts me into the uncomfortable position of feeling like I need to apologize simply for having asked.

There they were, afraid I would like them less if they said no, when they actually put me out more later by resenting the situation. If you are a people pleaser, know that you will get nowhere in this manner. You'll actually make more people dislike you if you constantly say yes when you don't mean it.

Absolutely no one is responsible for your own energy and boundaries other than yourself. So say no when it's necessary and say yes to you. It's really not that hard once you get the hang of it.