I have a hard time saying no.
I used to associate saying no with people who were lazy or self-serving.
As someone who thrives on connection, I love saying yes.
In my experience, saying yes usually leads to the opportunity to connect with other people – be it at an event or by doing them a favor.
Saying yes is what got me into my Master’s program.
Saying yes is what enabled me to take care of my mother while she went through chemotherapy.
Saying yes is what made me a Ruckusmaker.
However, there is tremendous value in saying no.
I don’t mean an empty, thoughtless “no” that you say to get someone off your back. I mean, thinking about the offer and saying no because you realize it isn’t the best fit for you right now.
I recently made the decision to say no to an incredible opportunity.
I didn’t want to say no; I spent hours thinking about ways that I could say yes.
I spent days plotting out the actions that I would have to take, or changes that I would have to make to my routine, in order to say yes and be able to fit this into my life.
After a week of deliberating, I said no to an opportunity that I knew would make a tremendously positive impact on my life.
So, why did I did it? What provoked me to say no?
For me, what’s even harder than saying no is saying yes and doing something half-assed.
I’d rather say no (and miss out on an incredible opportunity) than say yes and only take advantage of 50 percent of what the opportunity has to offer.
I’d rather give a “no” than a half-hearted “yes.”
For this particular opportunity, I knew that saying yes would cause me stress.
I knew that I would struggle to find the necessary time to fully commit myself.
I realized that saying yes would mean that my quality of life would suffer in the short-term, and that wasn’t something that I was ready for.
What I’m realizing now is that, unlike what I used to think, my decision to say no wasn’t lazy or self-serving.
If anything, my decision to say no was the opposite; saying no meant freeing up some time that I could dedicate towards my role as the Marketing Director for The Senase Project.
What I’m realizing is that saying no is a skill – a critical skill worth learning.
Most importantly, I’m realizing that saying no is necessary sometimes.
Saying no can lead you to a different course of action.
Sometimes, saying no can lead you (or allow you) to say yes to something that you hadn’t even considered.
So, the next time you’re asked for a favor or presented with a great opportunity, but your gut is telling you to say no, listen to it and pat yourself on the back for saying no with a purpose.