I pulled open the nail salon door and the overwhelming fumes rolled over my head, not helping the anxiety. I stumbled across my words, feeling like a small child summoned for a scolding. “I’m having an event uh…thing next week. Can I leave these, um flyers? Like, here?” (SPIT IT OUT RACHEL!) I could practically see my inner voice rolling her eyes at me. The owner flashed a warm smile and surprised me with a definitive “Absolutely!!” I fled for the door. “That wasn’t so hard, now was it?” I teased myself. Yet somehow, approaching the next business, I still found myself nervous! Why? What am I so afraid of? That dirty, awful, scathing word. “NO.”
What’s so bad about it? I mean, really think about it! We’re all afraid of saying it, hearing it, feeling its sting. Our fear of the word literally dictates our lives. Don’t believe me?
How many times have you dragged yourself to a party you really didn’t want to be at? Yet, saying “no” might hurt their feelings. Plus, they came to your party…
You volunteer yet again for the school function, regardless of the additional stress it puts on your family.
You take on that extra project at work because you can’t disappoint. You run yourself ragged because you couldn’t muster the guts…
We all do it. We over-commit, over-work and overwhelm ourselves because we’re too afraid of hurt feelings or damage to our image. Worse than that, we let our fear of the word inhibit us from actually doing things.
We don’t ask for the promotion or the raise.
We don’t ask for help.
Let me encourage you that it is OKAY to say the word “no.” It is OKAY to “protect your peace” in your family and not commit to every event, project or party.
Let me encourage you furthermore that it is OKAY to hear the word “No.” It is not a rejection of you. It is not an attack on your friendship, job or personality. It simply can mean that person is trying to also not over commit or they have foresight on a situation that we don’t.
So join me on my new goal, to say “NO” more and to fear “NO” less.
I’ll go first!