With the new year in full swing, I know everyone is making resolutions and thinking about how they want this year to look for them. Last year, I took on a transformative resolution that came down to one simple word: no. In the spirit of power words, this is one you need to put at the top of your list this year.
Last year, I decided to say “no” more. I resolved that I was not going to do things that made me uncomfortable and I wasn’t going to sign off on things that hurt my feelings.
Wanna go to a party? No.
Is it okay that we haven’t talked in forever, but I wanna hang out right now? No.
Can I walk all over you? No.
Can you go out of your way for me even though I don’t deserve it? No.
When I decided to say no, I thought it would be easy. News flash: not even close. I found that the people I was saying no to were my friends, classmates, and coworkers.
See, saying no doesn’t hit the ears very well and we are conditioned to get defensive when we hear it.
I realized that I would be putting relationships in jeopardy by saying no.
I began to shrink away from the task. I asked, was my comfort really worth this friendship? But then I realized that yes, my comfort was worth it. My true friends, those who TRULY cared about me, wouldn’t mind that I said no. They wouldn’t require an explanation and more often than not, they wouldn’t ask me to do things that they knew I would say no to. I found that the more I said no, the more I stood up for myself and what I wanted, I weeded out the friends that didn’t truly care. Those who hung out with me for something I could provide for them or out of convenience fell away quickly.
I also figured out that I didn’t always have to say the word “no”. I could be more tactful and phrase my words differently. But if you boiled it down, the answer was no. Instead of saying no, I would say things like:
That doesn’t sound like a fun time to me.
I’m not a fan of that.
I don’t really want to.
At the end of it all, I cultivated 365 days where I chose myself above everyone else. And it felt so good.
Saying no taught me that I am worth a certain standard of treatment. I was blessed with a small tribe of women who stuck by me and pushed me to say no when I got scared. Saying no brought me the love of my life and I could not be more thankful that I decided that significant others weren’t allowed to treat me any kind of way either. Saying no brought me a new job and a great staff. Saying no gave me a power that I didn’t know I had.
Add no to your power words this year and you may just end up saying yes to transformation.