‘NO’ IS ALSO POLITE , POSITIVE AND PERFECTLY ALRIGHT
It is important in life to know when to say YES and when to say NO. Culturally it is rude to say NO and we must say YES whether or not we want to. But if we start conducting ourselves based on that thought, it seems quite impossible to say YES to everything and everyone. It is not even right. Let me tell you why!!! In the last blog I mentioned about WHAT to say NO to. Today, I want you to know WHY it is one of the most important things that I have learnt in my life…and also one of the most difficult to do.
Why do we say YES, is it simply to seek acceptance or it is uncomfortable to say NO!!! It is a basic human need to be accepted and appreciated but it is not the ultimate need as there will always be someone who will be non-accepting of you…Will that need ever be met fully!!!. If YOU accept yourself the way you are, so will the World.
Ask yourself what drives your YES….you will know whether you are being honest or dishonest with your own self. In case the YES is to get acceptance, when you really should be saying NO…means APPEASEMENT and that is dishonest. Would you be misleading others and yourself when you say YES to something when your heart really says NO…YES you will be misleading!!! Are you comfortable with that? What would be your effort like when you do things half heartedly or with some resentment or force when your heart is not in it. Would you enjoy it???Where is it going to lead to…yourself being pushed against the wall….so much more effort, poor results and developing stress of doing something against your will…Is it worth all the effort..All you have to do is, LEARN TO SAY NO!!
At what stage can you say NO… when you know what is it that YOU want to say YES to. When you know why you are doing what you are doing? Where is it that you want to go , so you can say NO to paths that do not take you there. NO comes from an ‘inner conviction’ about who you are, what you want to do and where you want to be in life!!! An outward NO comes from a strong inner conviction that what you are saying NO to is correct for you.
NO requires emotional strength, balance and commitment. When you are so convinced that your NO will benefit everyone around you or the person you are saying it to and you can convince that person that your NO is in a positive direction for the situation, person or yourself. That is when the NO becomes effective.
It’s important to make a beginning. First with yourself and then with others. WHERE DO YOU START? HOW CAN YOU PRACTICE SAYING ‘NO’…..With yourself…the first things you have to start saying NO to is your negativity, start saying NO to Fear, Anger, Guilt. Start saying NO to ‘Hurt’. Start saying NO to HABITS that have been part of YOU and you know that they are not serving you well. If you have to start saying NO to your own faults and mistakes…you can get out of them faster. This could take some time to identify and break through….but you will have conditioned yourself to understand what it means to say NO……Now you move to finding your own path and saying NO to things which do not fit into that path…Then convey your point of view, respecting other people’s point of view too. Listen to everyone and then ask yourself if you are happy living in another’s point of view…if yes…say YES…if NO , have the courage to say NO respectfully.
Now….Saying NO is important but HOW you say it is ‘CRUCIAL’ because the HOW will determine how others react to your NO. No sounds like rejection for another or another’s point of view. However, it does not mean that you do not see another’s point of view but it can certainly mean that you also have a point of view..you can disagree without being disagreeable. Saying NO needs exemplary communication skills to share why you feel justified in saying NO because a simple NO like I said earlier is deemed negative, rude, can cause misunderstandings and more negativity. It is not the NO however….but not saying NO that generates negativity in your life and in the lives of people around you. NO starts with a commitment to SELF…’NO’ means you know what you are talking about.
The biggest cause of stress is to say ‘I am glad to’ when you really had to say ‘no’. NO is a choice that you have a right to exercise, go ahead and learn how to say NO and get started with something new in life!!!
It’s said, success is more about the number of times you have said NO and not got carried away by the desire to say YES and get accepted!!
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE YES AND NO PARADOX
NO does not mean, I disagree but only that I feel differently about the same thing;
NO does not mean, I want to hurt you but it does mean, that it hurts ME to just say YES because you are saying so;
Relationships that you care about need a gentle NO;
Exploitation needs a firm NO;
Say NO with a reason and an explanation;
Say YES when it involves other people’s needs. At that time, say NO to your obstinacy.
Say YES to learning and say NO to ‘I know it all’
Can you say NO with emotional poise and a smile. It need not be resentful or angry;
NO is not a negative word, but NO is the need of the human beings to recognise their inner strength to address their inner conflicts…and to move on their chosen paths without any hindrance. NO is therefore necessary to be conveyed to YOURSELF first and then to others to have a smooth ride on your path;
NO is finding yourself, respecting yourself, who you are and what you want to be;
NO need not be driven by anger, ego, frustration or fear BUT by a clear conviction that the things, thoughts, people you have to say NO to, are not the things that your heart says YES to or your situation says YES to or your mind says YES to..An honest NO is respecting your own thoughts, your own being and respect for your own life and what you have thought about it. The big thing is that is also respecting other people’s time and effort.
All the best, start with yourself today!!
Your friend and Coach