Nobody enjoys hearing the word no – yet, is one of the few words we learn early on in life. And gladly use as toddlers and onto our teenage years. And as we become more aware of the world and the people around us we become more conscious and cautious of what to say and not say. To my dismay, I seem to have forgotten somewhere along the journey that the word ‘no’ even existed.
It requires more if you’re not used to saying ‘no’ and if you’re yes person like me, you’re eventually bound to cross the line and deal with the consequences later on in life.
I’m a ‘yes’ person but the past year I’ve learned that I say yes for all the wrong reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I say yes to be nice and helpful. However, most of the time I found myself saying ‘yes’ out of fear. Mostly, internal fear. My own issues, per say – or insecurities if you may.
All this pointing out to be a part of the good girl syndrome I wrote about last year. Unfortunately, it’s what’s got me into a lot of mess.
For a person, like myself, who struggles with saying no (a simple word, right?) awareness is of the essence. First, I had to be aware of such issue that I’m saying yes when I rather say no. Second, find out why I say yes, when I rather say no.
It’s obvious to me now that I (well, used to) lack the ability to draw the line – your space, my space kind of thing. But I’m working on it.
I say yes and think later. It’s after dealing with the consequences that I find myself in a emotional mess, stress or even worse exhaustion. Next, I beats myself up for not being able to meet my or the expectant spectator’s expectations (the person/people I’ve said yes to). It all becomes an internal issue.
When saying no is easier said than done, you tend to lose yourself in an ocean of expectations – your own and other people’s expectations based on your own thoughts, beliefs and insecurities (as if you could read other people’s exact mind). A lot of time not even being remotely close to the truth.
When saying no is easier said than done, you push yourself beyond your own limits. Your own fear and insecurities prevents you from releasing yourself of all expectations; your own and society’s. In the end, leaving you crawling rather than walking tall.
But I’ve asked myself what drives a yes out immediately without a second thought or even putting my needs before others. Personally speaking it all boils down to my own thoughts and fear. The mind can either be a powerful tool or a mighty enemy.
The avoidance of guilt, easily drives out a yes out of me. I want to be helpful and nice alas unaware that it will cost me (keyword here: unaware). Disappointing the counterparty will suggests I’m not a nice person, so I say yes. The fear of others people opinion if I say no, that apparently scares me. For we all aspire to be liked, we all seek validation and acceptance and in my oblivious mind saying ‘yes’ offers just that. Furthermore, saying no will label me as not being good enough and perhaps push people away. All fear related!
When you say ‘yes’ to other make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.
– Paulo Coelho
It’s with our downfalls/mistakes that we learn the most from. And I’m learning as I go in life, like putting me before others. Being a yes person, the ‘good girl’ is not necessarily a bad thing. But it’s challeninging. For it’s only when it affects you by putting more stress or even pressure on you that it can become a menace to your own health; physically and mentally.
Next week I’ll share with you how I’m learning to say no and putting me first.