So much is written about finding our value in saying no, and as somebody who struggles to say no to anything asked by others, I am so glad it is out there. Having said that, I have recently discovered there is incredible power in saying yes to the right things as well.
I am my own worst enemy. I agree to help everybody with everything, no matter how busy or overwhelmed I might feel. If somebody asks if I can just check something or read something or edit something or help them write something or advise them on something, I very very rarely say no. Because all I ever want to do is help people. I hate to see somebody struggling or suffering and every instinct I have makes me want to do whatever I can to ease that. “Help” is the word that most defines my purpose in life. I get this from my daddy.
I have slowly been learning the art of saying “no” in certain situations; “No, you can’t share that here”, “no, I can’t do that for free”, “no, you cannot speak to me like that”, “no, I won’t let you guilt me into doing what you want me to”.
But every now and again, I still say yes when I feel I shouldn’t. I feel I shouldn’t because, even though I believe in something, I don’t feel that I can “deliver”, or I shouldn’t because I have a family to support financially, or I shouldn’t because I really really need to go to sleep before Charly starts waking up throughout the night or I shouldn’t because it isn’t the “smart” place to invest my energy.
I have begun to realise though, that sometimes my instincts are actually spot on. Sometimes saying yes has changed somebody’s life in a fundamental way; sometimes saying yes has cost me in the short term, but has come back to me tenfold in the long term; sometimes saying yes has led to some of the most meaningful relationships in my life.
This past week I have been defying my fear of change, trusting my instincts and saying yes. I am busy, I am tired, I am stressed; and yet I said yes and took on more… Why? Because every instinct I have was screaming that this was the positive and fulfilling something that would help to balance out that stress.
I said yes and now I am working on two amazing new business ventures with two amazing, inspiring and talented women. I am busier, I am more tired (because I am lying in bed excited and exploding with new ideas), and I am happier than I have been in a very very long time. I am feeling challenged and inspired. I am feeling balanced.
I have over a hundred new emails every morning, and at least ⅔ of them are filled with love and warmth and encouragement of the women sharing in our South African Sisterhood group. I would rather go through 100 emails where the balance is that, than the 30 I received previously that were full of deadlines and heavy news and stress. I can face those 30 with a smile on my face now, as between them I am seeing the heart of so many women. I can face them because I receive at the very least one message telling me that I have made a difference, that I am the kind of woman that makes the world a better place.
The message from me today is this, you absolutely have to know when to say no. It is a word with intrinsic value that will help you maintain control of your own life. If somebody is going to disappear from your life because suddenly you aren’t agreeing to do anything and everything for them anymore, that person can’t disappear fast enough, they are NOT somebody you need in your life. But trust your instincts, and when something with the potential to change your view of the world comes along – say yes.
Sending all the love xx