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“Until you learn the power of saying no to so many things, you shall always say yes to so many things.” ~ Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
No. It’s a simple two letter word, one syllable that carries so much power and weight.
“No” signifies what you can’t and won’t stand for. It communicates space, boundaries, and what we are willing to commit to.
It’s not just a refusal of something. It’s choosing to stand for something, or someone, or yourself.
“No” stands for our interests, commitments, choices, and values.
In that very moment when we choose to say “no” to something or someone, we are doing two things at once:
>> Denying someone their comfort and convenience.
>> Choosing our own comfort, convenience, interest, priorities, or values—and committing to those.
The reason why we can’t say “no” is because:
>> We have a tough time acknowledging and accepting that our comfort, convenience, priorities, or values matter, and sometimes, they matter more than someone else’s comfort. We struggle to accept our own self as a person because we never have. Our identity has always been enmeshed with that of others and we don’t know how to disentangle. Our inner self—the deepest parts of us—feels safe when others are happy and satisfied with us, because that would mean that they see us as worthy.
>> When we deny them their comfort, it exposes us. It makes us vulnerable to judgement. It opens up room for the possibility that we may not be valued anymore.
So, we comply.
We allow others’ needs, wishes, and desires to trample all over ours.
We create pain for ourselves. We endure it so that others can be happy and make us feel that we’re worth something to them.
We do it once, then twice, and before we realise it, this becomes us.
Not being able to say no becomes a part of who we are, and who we really are and who we want to be become distant dreams.
Every time, we choose someone else over our own selves out of fear of being discarded for not being valuable enough, we deny ourselves our own dignity.
We don’t take up the space that the universe has offered us. We become captives in a world full of transactional relationships; we live in the illusion of love, appreciation, value, and worth.
Genuine relationships understand and respect the power of “no.” They understand the importance of space, priorities, limitations, values, comfort, and commitment.
However, to be able to establish and maintain a genuine relationship with someone else, we first need to develop the relationship with ourselves.
If we never said “Yes” and instead said “No,” the following would have happened:
>> We would have honoured our own needs, emotions, values and priorities.
>> Others would have understood our space and our needs.
>> Those with a genuine understanding would have respected and accommodated, one way or another.
>> Those who were transactional in their communication would have left our space.
“If someone throws a fit because you set boundaries, it’s just more evidence that the boundary is needed.” ~ Anonymous
Thus, we would have gained insight into who’s willing to respect, accept, and see us for who we are, and let go of those who only wanted to get their own needs met.
“No” is not just a word. It’s an embodiment of our individuality.
“No” is a complete sentence.” ~ Anne Lamott
Saying “no” is not about denying someone their comfort just because we want to; it’s choosing what’s best for us—what keeps us in alignment with who we are. Yes, when we say “no,” someone can get hurt or upset. There might be some collateral damage. However, a genuine relationship will be able to tide over this minor bump as well.
Therefore, once we start embracing ourselves for who we are, we will be able to say “no” when we genuinely mean it.
When we start saying no to things and people who don’t align with us, we begin to carve a well-deserved space for ourselves.
We free ourselves from the clutches of “self-worth dependency.”
“I refuse to please others at the expense of my emotional well-being. Even if it means saying ‘No’ to people who are used to hearing ‘Yes’.” ~ Anonymous
We no longer seek our sense of self-worth from the external world. We are already satiated with it as it is.
We are our own person—we depend on ourselves with faith and trust.
That’s all that we need, right?
“No” is a beautiful word that creates a whole lot of “Yes” once you’ve said it. It may seem negative, limiting, or pejorative, but used wisely it can be a gateway to freedom, preserving energy for the pursuits that are truly high-priority.” ~ Pixie Lighthorse, Boundaries and Protection