April 9, 2021

5 Benefits of Saying “No” (& How it Can Change our Lives).

Saying no

We live in a world where we are expected to say yes to everything.

As toddlers, we somehow learn the word no early on. We say no to everything that doesn’t sit right with us.

“Eat your peas.” “No.” “Time for bed.” “No.” “It’s bath time.” “No.”

We are taught that no is a bad word—we are not permitted to have our own opinions or have a say in how to live our lives. Granted we were only two, but saying no is not permitted, even throughout our teenage years.

We were forced to do things we didn’t want to do; we were told it was for our own good. As a result, that no we once knew so well as toddlers doesn’t exist in our vocabulary as adults.

We have been programmed to agree to authority; we have been trained like little soldiers to march around at every command, regardless of how we really felt about it. We got used to saying yes and following the rules that we, somehow, forgot how to say no.

Our entire lives are filled with obligations that completely drain us.

It is bad enough we work long hours only to get home to help with homework and cook dinner, on top of whatever sporting activities the kids have each night.

At work, we are given assignments we clearly know we can’t handle, but we’re considered lazy if we don’t accept them.

We are invited to a party, but we know our schedules are completely full for the day. We rush through all our other obligations in order to make it to the party just so we are not considered antisocial.

We can’t, for the life of us, say freaking no.

Even if we consider saying no, thoughts of disappointment swirl in our heads. As disappointment sets its place within, guilt begins to invade our souls. It boils within the pit of our belly and explodes throughout every ounce of our being. The guilt, then, causes stress.

Life is already stressful enough. To top it off, stress brings on anxiety.

Where the hell is our time?

There is no time to sit, even for a minute, before darkness takes over the light and our body slowly shuts down. The world begins to spin a bit faster. We can’t catch our breath. We can’t hold on for much longer before we stumble into a big black hole, which erupted from the floor.

There is no time to get it all done. Enough is enough. I say no from here onward.

Here are four benefits of using the word no to take back control over our lives:

1. Well-being.

Saying no is necessary for our well-being. When we learn how to say no, we are able to make room in our lives for ourselves. Making time in our lives for ourselves is part of self-love, and we all know how essential self-love is to our well-being.

2. Decluttering.

Once we say no, we begin to declutter our lives; we begin to feel free and happy. The more we use no, the more we are actually freeing ourselves to say yes to the things that actually excite us. Our lives will be filled with things that bring us enjoyment and satisfaction.

3. Self-worth.

If we accept every invitation given, we somehow give up our self-worth. There are no better plans than our own. When we say no, we give ourselves the right to do the things we feel are important, not just what others feel are important to us.

4. Setting Boundaries.

When we say no, we set boundaries. The people who are supposed to be in our lives will understand and respect our decision to decline. Anyone who doesn’t understand can walk away—we didn’t need them anyway.

We can learn how to say no in a loving and caring way.

No is a powerful word; it is the new yes. The more we use it, the easier it becomes to say it and to mean it.

Just say no. It will change your life.


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Sharon A. DeNofa  |  Contribution: 196,225

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