Often we feel pressure (from inside and out) to say yes to everything, but it’s important to remember that it’s okay to say no. Not only is it OK, it is imperative to have the ‘No’ response to an inquiry as a very valid option! The thing is you see, if you come from a family belief system that values their members to ‘make nice’ or ‘think of others BEFORE you think of yourself’, allowing ‘No’ to be a valid response to a request or an invitation will seem something like a betrayal of a foundational value.
If you are moved to say ‘Yes’ to a request, and you feel some sort of anxiety as you contemplate acquiescing, there is a good chance that ‘Yes’ is not in your best interests. (I am talking about your soul growth’s best interests here not the more superficial sort of best interests; like your significant other requesting that you take up your fair share of the household’s tasks.)
If you choose to follow the personal growth path of happiness it is important to be able to know what a clear ‘Yes’ and a clear ‘No’ feels like in that sweet deep place inside you where your unmitigated knowing that ‘you are a precious’ entity lies. When both options are valid then you can start to include all options of value decisions that lay between those two so-called ‘poles’. That, btw, is how managing duality is supposed to work; have the polar opposites of choice be TWO valid choices so you can then open your intuition to receive other valid options for whatever decision you have to make.
Not only can it be difficult to arrive at valuing ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ with some semblance of parity, it can also be difficult to find that sweet deep place inside or to buy into the truth that you are precious. Most family systems that respect holding others valuable BEFORE valuing themselves don’t know about the merit of saying ‘No’. This is why I, and others like me, do the spiritual direction work I do. I have come to realize that it is only by cultivating the confidence needed for radical self acceptance can we be wholly available to serve others. So, if this resonates with you and you don’t know how to navigate becoming confident in valuing both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’, bring a life coach or a spiritual advisor onto your self-help team. It could be the best investment you will ever make!