Why does saying ‘no’ to avoid being busy seem so radical that it feels akin to committing a crime?
I said no to a request to do more work this week, to fitting something extra into an already full-enough schedule. That was not an easy NO to say, it felt radical and pushed me beyond my comfort zone.
Within that single No there were many more smaller no’s inside of it- much like a babuskha doll of No’s. I said no to expanding myself beyond my current commitments.
I said no in the name of wanting to protect my headspace, so as I could do what I already have to do, with as much clarity & focus as possible.
I said no to being pulled in new directions & entering into new responsibilities.
It didn’t feel easy, but it felt right. Before I could respond in the negative to this request to do some extra work, I had an internal argy bargy session with myself and a conversation with a couple of good strong supportive women. These glorious women affirmed my gut-feels and helped me to flesh out some good reasons to support it.
I know not too long ago I would have said Yes- so as I could ‘help’ & be a ‘good team player’, and avoid guilty feelings.
But, the flip side of saying Yes when you really want to say No is costly. If I’d said Yes I might have ended up resenting my choice...and the work. How many of us are living with the consequences of a Yes that should have been a No right now? We position ourselves so as we have little choice but to play the role of martyr and sacrifice our needs for someone elses.
Next time you have a choice to make, between an easy in-the-moment Yes and a more difficult No, I invite you to think of it as an opportunity to do something radically different. Consider that a change in defaulting to YES can have seriously powerful and positive ripple effects (invisible though they may seem).
You see, the more of us who are willing to say no, to put self-made and self-defined boundaries in place and commit to being not too busy, the easier it’s gonna be for all of us, because we’ll be shifting expectations and the ‘norm’. Just like the Pantene ad so wisely advised, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
By saying No to the request to do more work I was saying yes to myself. I was saying yes to what I’m already committed to. Not many others, if anyone will be able to see the Yes that goes simultaneously with my No. Perhaps no one will know that inside my babushka doll of No’s there are also some very cute little YES dolls that make my inner world much happier- just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re not powerful.
But I do know how important and valuable the Yes’s are. I know those little YES babies will allow me to do my work with greater integrity whilst feeling more fulfilled.
I also know that my inner light feels supported and fuelled by me, I’m looking after and nurturing my light by honouring my gut feeling, the gut NO that I heard instantly in response to the request at work. So here I am, committing to fuelling my inner light, radical huh.
Ladies, let’s not wear ‘stress’ as a badge of honour, that just keeps us all in a physical and mental state of survival. In this state we actually don’t have access to our whole brain, so it isn’t gonna allow us to be our best creative selves or to show up consciously and mindfully. We all know that we need the latter, lots more of it.
PS The image and inspiration for this post came from Be More With Less, I highly recommend you check out Courtney’s brilliant blog.
#bethechange #innerme #sayingnoisokay #innerlight #change #yestome #slowingdown #letsbeconscious #teamunbusy