“NO!”—this is my reaction to this month’s theme when thinking of women pushing themselves to try something new and something scary. No, I am not saying that you shouldn’t try something new or something scary; rather, I am forwarding the idea that for most women the thought of simply saying “NO” in and of itself is the “something new” and “something scary.” Women don’t usually say “no” without tremendous inward turmoil and guilt. Why? A true invitation or request from someone invites a “yes” or “no” answer. Why are we inclined to only say “yes?” Undoubtedly we each have different reasons that we must individually evaluate for saying “yes,” and it is appropriate some of the time. But, we forget that saying “yes” comes with a cost to other areas in our life: work, necessary free time, family time, health, trying something new, and even our sanity. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Recently, I had one of my closest friends ask me for help in watching her children for several weekdays/nights while she went out of town. I cannot tell you the turmoil that I went through in letting her know that I couldn’t do it. I knew right away from my work schedule and prior commitments that the answer was “no,” but I spent hours and hours agonizing over how I “should” re-work my schedule and commitments to try and help her. I don’t like to live in the “should be” world…I want to choose deliberately and without guilt. The important lesson I was reminded of through this recent experience was that in delaying my “no,” I spent unnecessary time, energy, worry, and self-justification on the issue instead of making and living with the decision. I could have spent that time in a host of other ways. And, it delayed my friend in knowing my answer so that she could find an alternative solution.
When we say “yes” to something we are inevitably saying “no” to something else. We cannot do it all, all of the time. So, if you have ever wanted to say “YES” to a new hobby or nourish a passion, you are likely going to have to try the scary “NO” answer to something else, first. (Practice, practice, practice!)
Motivational Speaker | Former Miss Nevada