In a world of stacked agendas, insatiable appetites for Insta-material, and FOMO-dominated weekends, saying yes is practically ingrained in our culture.
It feels so natural to fire back an instantaneous “yes!” text or email that saying “…no” can feel a bit weird, or rude even. But truth be told, we’re not doing ourselves any favors with all this yessing.
The more scared we get of saying no, the harder we make things.
Saying no is uncomfortable.
It can be downright awkward to say no. We’ve all experienced the swell of anxiety when reluctantly saying yes, knowing all the while our gut is screaming “no way!” Whether subconscious or not, we often say yes to things we’d rather not do out of a desire to please. We don’t want to disappoint and saying yes is far easier and satisfying—in the short-term. But long-term, it can leave you stressed out, overbooked, and resentful.
“Choose discomfort over resentment.” – Dr. Brené Brown
If you really don’t have the bandwidth or don’t want to do it, saying yes to something can end up making you mad later. And whether you’re mad at the situation, mad at the person who asked you to do it, or mad at yourself for agreeing to do it—it’s just not good.
There is no shame in saying no.
Ditch the feeling that you need to substantiate or validate your no. You don’t owe anyone an explanation or an excuse. You may fear your reasons aren’t good enough or valid, so you end up giving in. But at the end of the day, if you can’t or don’t want to do something, regardless of the reasoning, that’s your prerogative and that’s all the reason you need.
…But it’s worth keeping in mind that sometimes we all have to say yes to certain duties at work, at home, or with our health. Trust your intuition, conscience, and reasoning to do the right thing.
Saying no makes time for what you love.
When your schedule is stacked and time is invaluable, it’s so important to only say yes to the things that you really love and want to do. Otherwise, it’s just not worth it. It is important to give your life the attention it deserves. Don’t let anyone or any situation take that away from you.
Saying no gives your yes more power.
Your yesses are a commodity—and when you are brave enough to say no, their value goes up. Saying yes means something. It’s no longer just a passive answer. Even if a “maybe” is the best you can do, you’ve at least given yourself some time to put more thought into the decision.
Saying no is standing up for yourself.
Say no to the bullsh*t. Say no to relationships that hurt you and friendships that bring you down. Say no to going out when you don’t want to. Say no to extra projects you can’t handle. Say no to what you don’t agree with. Say no to anything that doesn’t make you excited or bring positivity into your life.
Saying no to yourself.
It will not always be others who you will need to politely decline. Sometimes it may be the toughest person of all: yourself. Whether it’s saying no to hitting the snooze button. Saying no to that margarita when you have to drive later. Or saying no to the boy who broke your heart. Sometimes, against all of your heart’s desires, you will need to show up, stand up to yourself, for yourself, and say hell-to-the-no.
And that can be a wonderful thing.
Laci Mosier is a copywriter living and loving in Austin, Texas. She and her one-eyed pirate dog live for exploring and discovering life’s magic. She is most inspired by yoga, running, Kundalini meditation, good books, great jams and even better coffee. Getting lost is where she is most often found. Follow her on the Twittersphere or Instagram.