Writing on this topic, presents the culmination of many people around me, including myself who have found themselves in the pickle of wanting to say “NO” and not doing it.
Trying to live authentic lives–where we do what we want, say what we want and show up as we want is difficult to do consistently, and we often don’t do it where we fear loss.
The specter of disappointing others can bind us to the mast of a ship headed to the rough seas of saying ‘yes’ when every inch of our being wants to scream, “NO!”
Guilt plays a huge factor in going along, to get along, what if we hurt someone else by not giving them what they want?
The amount of value we have is directly tied to what sort of situations we find ourselves in, because sometimes we say yes when we mean no, believing that this is as good as it might get for us (by the way it’s a whole series of YES’S that lead us to the crossroads–it’s never just one YES, which got us here). Better to settle here than to risk further into the unknown where we might end up alone, broke, a failure or some other label that we fear.
When we’re at our most confident and connected to our more life affirming beliefs, we have faith that what we truly want is out there and we’re much less willing to say ‘yes’ when we mean ‘NO.’
Most humans struggle with “Am I enough, good enough or worthy of…. fill in the blank“ and when we feel the heaviness inside that this might be it, we cling…with our reasoning founded in not wanting to upset the apple cart.
We might disappoint or hurt others, they may stop asking us to come out and play.
Perhaps,they may feel we’re slighting them, or that somehow we’re responsible for their emotional well-being (forgetting our own). Others around us may guilt trip us into what they believe is best for us, BASED on their own experiences. Most advice comes from the success or failure others have experienced, which actually says ‘nothing’ of what our experience could or might be!
When basing our decisions on outside factors, we always stand to lose, especially IF we’re not honest with ourselves.
If we’re saying yes to a job we don’t want, fighting the urge to run in the other direction, at least be truthful. We’re probably afraid if we don’t take it, another won’t come along. Our conditioning may say there’s a scarcity of opportunity; proven by our long search! So someone FINALLY recognizing our value–makes us feel we found more than a mirage in the desert! And…what if no other employer gives us a better opportunity? Better take it now!
Freedom is a wonderful concept, which takes a commitment to live in daily.
We feel pulled by obligations whether imagined or quite real, so why do we add to the prison we build by trying to tell ourselves “we have to do, what we don’t want to do?”
I’ve failed and I’ve succeeded, whether it’s in a single situation, a relationship, a job, my own business or even choosing a restaurant. The thing that’s clear is when I do something, which may cause a ruffle outside of me; it doesn’t compare to the one inside of me when I’m in opposition to myself.
And when we find the choice we made NOT in favor of ourselves, we look for things outside of us to build a case, such as finding flaws in someone, or something…and that doesn’t work, in the end it is no one else’s fault when we go against ourselves.
It’s our responsibility to live our lives; to be in the driver’s seat, because in the end, we’re the ones who have to live with our choices.
And for some of us we’d rather fall on our own sword, torturing ourselves, rather than suffer our perceived guilt, selfishness, or horrible outcome–because we believe we may never have a better opportunity etc…so we say ‘yes’ and slowly die in that moment….and many moments after, which we live through the repercussions of the decision to not choose ourselves.