The Power of Just Saying "No"

How often do we say "maybe" when in our heads we're screaming "no?"  I'm definitely guilty of doing this myself.  It comes from years of doing what I thought was expected of me.  I never wanted to disappoint people.  

Here I am, 27 years later, sitting at my computer and wondering if I've really learned how to use this powerful word.  I've tried it out, tested it's abilities a few times, but am I confident enough in it's power?  Truthfully, I'm still on the fence.  BUT I'm getting there. 

When you discover the power of "no" your life will quite literally be changed forever.  It's incredible.  It's freeing. It's absolutely a behavior that parents need to teach their children, bosses need to encourage in their staff and friends need to inspire in their loved ones.  

Why?  Because you must remember to love and respect yourself.  You come first.  Yes, even you happily committed folks.  

We need to remember this, as our calendars fill up, as our days become shorter, as our free time disappears.  Remember that your health + happiness must be priorities.  

I've decided to start saying "no" more often.  If it doesn't bring joy + light to my life, then it's not worth my energy.  Now, don't misunderstand me.  I'm not saying that you need to quit your job and mooch off your parents because your 9 to 5 doesn't bring you absolute joy.  You still have to be an adult. (Such a bummer sometimes, I know) What I'm saying is that those extras you take on?  That volunteering commitment?  Be honest with yourself before you agree to take it on.  

And don't feel bad about saying "no."  No one will fault you for honesty.  In fact, most people will secretly admire you for being so bold and taking care of yourself.  

If you're like me and still not fully confident in flat out saying "no" because you feel "guilty" or "obligated," use an alternate phrase. Try, instead, saying "that sounds great, but right now I can't take on another project" or "my plate is full right now, but I'm flattered you thought of me."  

Just like that you've made yourself a priority in your own life.  Be strong. Be bold. Be conscious in your journey, friends.