A few days ago I was asked to be part of a project. I said “No” right away.
I’ll be honest…it felt really good to say No! I gave a strong, quick answer. I was decisive. I felt empowered.
Damn, I really meant it too. I said No and Wow, I was relieved. I took myself out of the equation and off the hook. I breathed in a small victory. (Note: This was for an extracurricular activity by the way, not my child asking me for a meal or my boss asking me to complete a job duty.)
To clarify, I wasn’t trying to be negative either. Instead I knew immediately in my gut that the partnership wasn’t right. I knew the person asking me to do the task was going to conveniently let me do the bulk of the work. I felt the tension of the rewards not matching my expectations. In my mind I could picture the tasks dragging me down and the individual next to me would likely drive me crazy.
Also, the timing was wrong. The request was voluntary so there was no reason I had to say yes. I wasn’t being rude. I was doing us both a favor in the long run.
After all, I am committed to other organizations, class assignments and family obligations right now. My plate is nearly full.
But I still say Yes when the feeling is right. Last week I was offered a different opportunity. I replied with a big, strong “Yes.” That was for a monthly writing column opportunity set to begin in June and last through December. I can determine the content. Best of all, I have the chance to help other parents with creativity and resources…a win for everyone!
That was a fast reply for me. I said that Yes with fierceness. I didn’t wait or over-analyze the motives. I didn’t do what I hear so many people say, use the word, “Maybe.”
Lately I’m not a fan at all of the word maybe. In fact, I find myself loathing the word Maybe. I roll my eyes at it. I stick my tongue out at it.
Maybe is an excuse to prolong a response. People use it to be indecisive. I know this because I used to be one of those “maybe people.”
I’m turning a corner however. I’m not going to sit on the fence. I’m jumping down to one side or the other.
Why not decide what you want and what’s best? Commit to yes or simply say no.
Don’t respond with “Maybe” to a social event or gathering. I cringe when I see people responding maybe to a meeting I’ve planned. Google needs to rid that option from its Calendar. I will write a letter to their CEO. How do you plan for a “maybe”? Many people write that to be polite when they don’t have any intention of showing up.
I truly wish they would tell me if they want to be there or not for my meeting or party. My feelings won’t be hurt if the answer is no.
Our leisure time is so precious. We should spend it wisely and align moments with our values. When you say “Yes” to one person, volunteer activity, work assignment, project or goal, you are inevitably saying “No” to something else. Don’t feel bad about it. Don’t make excuses. Just be.
I ask myself, “Why not yes or no?” Do I want to go? Say yes. Then I make every attempt to attend. If I don’t want to go or I have a conflict, I say no.
Do you want to say NO more? Do it. Don’t be afraid, especially if it serves your goals and causes you to be more mindful with your loved ones and aspirations. Saying no isn’t being impolite. It’s often necessary and let me tell you…quite liberating!
What about Yes? Those moments when you want to say yes but hold back a little bit… you don’t wish to be too eager in front of others. You don’t want to be viewed in a certain way. Again, put those hesitant feelings aside. If the right opportunity strikes, say yes with conviction and passion!
These are lessons I’m learning and finally putting into play. I will say Yes and I will say No. But “Maybes”…you maybes have no place in my future.