Believe me when I say that learning to use a simple two-letter word correctly in life made massive changes for me.
There was a year when my children were in elementary school, and the word NO had no meaning for me. I didn’t know how to use it properly to set boundaries in my life.
At one time I was on the PTA board for the elementary school, the Cub Scout Troop board, I was a Den Leader, and I was a Daisy Girl Scout leader. If you are familiar with any of these organizations wearing only one of these hats is a lot. What was I thinking trying to wear them all at the same time? The answer is I wasn’t thinking, and I undoubtedly wasn’t considering me. Sure, it seemed like I was thinking of my kids but in the end, I was not serving their interests either.
My inability to say no when asked to volunteer and give to others created a total void in my own life. I had absolutely no boundaries. I believed that by saying no to things, I would be presenting a negative persona. Crazy right?
We have all been there, terminally yes-people, who believe that saying no makes us Negative Nellies. I am here to tell you that is a false belief!
Saying no creates a healthy boundary.
You decide exactly how much you want to give of yourself. It sets you up for a lot of positive experiences. When I found the Power of No, I began to have more meaningful experiences with my family. Our time was freed up, and we could do more together. I was happier because I accepted my abilities and stopped saying yes to projects that I knew were impossible to achieve.
How can you tap into this amazing power to say no?
First, look at all you are giving and doing for others realistically. This means looking at your life as an outsider. Are you giving your time to organizations because you want to or because you feel obligated? If your answer is obligation now is the time to use your No Power.
Next, look at what you think you may be doing for your family. Are the volunteer positions helping you spend time with them or are they keeping you busy and away from the family fun you could and should be having? If your answer is the latter, it may be time to rethink and use your No Power to make changes.
Finally, are you saying yes out of the sincerity of your heart? Next time you get ready to say yes to something, place your hand on your heart. Quietly ask the question and answer first with yes. Does it feel heavy or light? Now do the same and answer no.
If you feel lighter by saying no, then I think you know what your answer should be.
We live in a society that tells us to give to everything but ourselves. It says that by giving to others, we are improving our lives and doing justice for our kids, setting a good example if you will. Well, maybe, just maybe, this is not the case. Using your No Power may actually make you a superhero at home and give you more time to focus on what is really important, living life fully.
I promise, your Power to say No makes you an actual “Positive Peter,” and shows the world that you honor yourself.
It also shows your family and friends that you know what it takes to set boundaries and create a positive life.
Here’s to your No-Power!
– Dru Ann