The Opportunity Cost of NO!
Posted on July 31 2013
From a young age we are taught that "No" is a denial of something we want to obtain. We begin to view it as negative and harsh when we are on the receiving end, and out right selfish when we are on the delivering end. And if you are an extrovert and someone who cares about people, their reactions and their feelings, the concept of "No" can be hard to master and even harder to deliver upon.
Growing up, I was the girl that took care of everybody's needs at the expense of going after what I wanted. And then after my parent's accident, I figured that if I kept all the balls in the air, the world would never fall apart on me - like it did on that fateful day in May 2000. I also took on the ideology that if something tragic did happen again, I would have this HUGE circle of people to call upon. But that way of living is exhausting, and not very genuine. My close friends will be there, when they can, if they can, should I need them. Saying "Yes" to keep everyone happy and pleased, because of the fear of a future that comes crumbling down -- is a horrible way to live.
This past year I have decided to hit RESET on that way of thinking and living. I have done a lot of reading, Eckart Tolle's The Power of Now + A New Earth, Brene Brown's Daring Greatly + The Gifts of Imperfection, The Four Agreements + The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz, Napoleon Hill's Outwitting The Devil + Think and Grow Rich, as well as Three Feet From Gold by Sharon Lechter and Greg Reid (based on Napoleon's philosophies and concepts) and Marianne Williamson's Return To Love. All of these books have helped me see that my old way of thinking is not healthy nor is it helping anyone! Being there for every project, every person and every whim and desire at the cost of me not taking care of my own soul is not only a backwards way of living, but detrimental to any true progress.
I want to be the highest, most true version of my self. I want to be in total alignment of my soul and to only say "yes" to projects, opportunities, invitations and even friendships/relationships that are in alignment with my truth.
The journey to implement this has not been easy and I struggle with it on a daily basis. The old me wanted everyone to like me, and my identity was completely wrapped up in whether people were pleased with my actions. But now that I have picked a dream, a goal, a mission and a vision that is way bigger than me - I can no longer adhere to these kind of principles.
People will be disappointed. There will be invitations and opportunities I will have to turn down. And there will be situations I have to walk away from. I can do it with grace and poise and never at the expense of intending to hurt someone, but should they choose to be upset, I can no longer waver simply to come back to a place of pleasing. I have to always do my best, but then allow others their feelings and not take responsibility for those feelings. I am only responsible for me.
Bob took me to a lecture at Arizona State University on the art of saying "No". Bob and I have had lots of conversations regarding this topic. It is so easy to get caught up in the inertia and say "Yes" to projects, people and situations -- but then regret it when we realize we don't have the time and energy to give our best to every opportunity that comes our way. The ASU lecture opened with the quote "Learn to say No to the Good, to say YES to the GREAT!" Going back to the fundamentals of econ 101 it is the basic principles of opportunity costs. We can't be everything, or everywhere, at the same time, we forfeit one opportunity at the cost of another. We have to pick, we have to choose, and saying "No" affords us the ability to take on the projects, invitations and situations that we are really MEANT to be a part of.
This is the season for me to get my dream off the ground and it may mean saying No more than I say Yes. But I am no longer going to justify, defend, or validate my "No's" simply to please. My identity can not reside in being the "sweet yes girl"! I encourage you all to evaluate your own situations and whether you are saying "Yes" from a place of authenticity or to please...a yes without the possibility of no, is never a genuine answer.
And on that note...I came upon this quote in my favorite quote book this morning...
"She keeps the dreams her friends forget. The ones that seem to be big or too distant, or built for someone else. And when the moment is right, she returns them to their owners, reminds them what they have always known: step by step, the stars are reached. Our friends help do the climbing."
#ToLearningToSayNo in order #ToPursueMyDreams + #MakeMyGoalsAREALITY