Monday, June 22, 2009

Saying No

"A 'No' uttered form deepest conviction is better and greater than a 'Yes'merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble." Mahatma Gandhi
I once heard it said that the word NO is a complete sentence. Although I agree that it can be,

many people have a hard time saying the word. I was facilitating a group last week when we starting talking about living a balanced life. Many of the women in the group agreed that their lives were sometimes out of control because they said yes to too many things. One woman stated that she feels guilty when she says no, and worries that she is hurting the feelings of the person she has to say no to.
So why is so hard to say no? In his book The Power of a Positive No, William Ury states, "Perhaps the single biggest mistake we make when we say No is to start from No. We derive our No from what we are against - the other's demand or behavior. A positive No calls on us to do the exact opposite and base our No on what we are for. Instead of starting from No, start from Yes. Root you No in a deeper Yes - a Yes to your core interests and to what truly matters."
Picture going on vacation with only a week to drive to your vacation spot, relax for a few days, and drive back home. You would pull out your map, make sure you know the quickest way to get there, and prepare yourself for the journey. You wouldn't want any unwelcome surprises (like a flat tire, a detour, stopping to see the world's biggest ball of twine, etc.) to keep you from enjoying your time away. And if you did have an unwelcome surprise, you might end up feeling frustrated and resentful that you didn't get to do all the fun things you had planned.
Unfortunately many of us spend a lot of time planning our vacations, but we don't spend time planning our lives. We get sidetracked from doing the best things because we say yes to doing good things that are on someone else's agenda. And then we end up feeling resentful because we are stressed out from doing too an unbalanced life.
I often tell my clients that we not only have the right to say no, we often have the responsibility to say no! When we take the time to discover what truly matters we can say no in a healthy way because we are starting from yes!

No comments: