Do you have the right to say “No!”?
When you take a blunt look at it, do you really have the possibility to say “No!” every single time it is the answer that you want to give? Actually, how about rephrasing and asking whether it is truly honoring yourself to say “Yes” when you desperately want to say “No”? How many times have you been confronted to a similar situation? And how often have you felt that your sole option was to accommodate your interlocutor, even if that meant that you had to negate your own self in the process? Every single time you feel that it is your obligation to please another person, you are totally unable to choose what you really desire in the moment, simply because it gives you no other choice but to entrap yourself inside a mind frame where your personal views can only come last. One reason that is widely used to justify such a behavior is the necessity to keep the peace at all costs. Truly, how much peace do you end-up creating when you function from this viewpoint?
Are you really at risk when you say “No!”? Has “Yes!” become a reflex? What can you do to finally regain control of your own life, without having to fear retaliation for speaking your mind?
::: What are you truly afraid of?
Do you really dare to speak your mind, or do you feel that you must refrain at all costs and at all times? Remember, you are evolving in a society that values the status quo. Therefore if you choose to express yourself, freely and without filter, you end-up being systematically castigated. You are the trouble maker, who utterly refuses to fit inside the box. You disrupt this peace that is supposedly holding this entire world together. Each time you are reminded about this obligation to preserve the peace no matter what, don’t you start suffocating? If that is the case, it means that you are aware of this master plan that others have constructed, and that consists in controlling all your moves and thoughts; and it must have become intolerable for you. To function in this world, in full-on harmony with the masses, you have to preserve the peace, even if your contribution entails that you must cease to exist in the process. Maybe have you already stopped existing? Do you regret it, or has it become an intrinsic part of what you are today? If it is now a part of you, would it feel way too uncomfortable to attempt to change anything? It may undeniably disrupt your inner peace, whatever that means. Or maybe are you aware that it is now time to wake-up, so you can rediscover your true self and regain some sense of self-worth?
Have you irrevocably decided that saying “No!” to someone was insulting this someone? As a result, are you averse to standing by what your desires are? Actually, who do you insult when you negate your feelings by choosing to accommodate another individual’s? If you believe that choosing for you is not an option, it may be quite hard to answer this question. However, if somewhere in the back of your mind you know that it is something that has already crossed your sphere of awareness at least once, then you know that it is potentially doable. But are you ready to deconstruct all the programming to which you have been subjected and that has continually denied you of your right to decide your own fate? Even though saying “Yes” continually is a complete disregard of what you are, doesn’t it feel so gratifying to know that your intention is to accommodate someone else? If you are the true friend that you pride yourself of being, you must accommodate your mates. You would not want to upset them by not showing up when they require your immediate presence, assistance and attention, right? If you really are the sweet kid that you have consistently claimed to be, don’t you have to fix your parents’ mistakes, regardless of their degree of insanity and regardless of their absolute refusal to finally become responsible?
If you risk acknowledging such dreadful dysfunctions before making those appropriate changes that will finally place you at the top in the equation of your life, what is at stake? Are you willing to pay the price? It is always the same leitmotiv. It is all about the intense fear of finding yourself alone. Isn’t it fascinating to observe that the aversion to being alone is certainly what controls your entire life? You may not be cognitively aware of it, but it is very real. Do you believe that choosing for you may actually push away those who have never esteemed you? What is there to lose here? And what if it could simultaneously attract men and women who have also been craving to develop a stronger sense of self-worth? Ultimately, that does not sound like a bad swap. But it takes a lot of courage to embark on this life-changing path.
::: Can negating your own self be an option any longer?
Jennifer had just recovered from a two-year long nervous breakdown, and she was now on her way to an interview for a very exciting on-line marketing position. When she arrived at the location, security escorted her to a conference room where she was scheduled to meet with three people. Her cell phone rang. She picked it up, and told the caller that she was about to have a very important meeting. Yet, she kept on staying on the line. How do I know that? I was the hiring manager for the job, and the first person with whom she was scheduled to interview. Jennifer whispered to me that it was one of her friends who was having serious marital problems, and asked me if I could wait a couple of minutes, which I did. Ten minutes later, she was still on the phone, trying to solve her friend’s issues. I walked to her and said, “Thank you for coming, but this is not working for me, and I know that this will not work for my group either. Good bye and best of luck to you”.
Before you start calling me a merciless and inhuman jerk, may I invite you to continue reading? Jennifer had chosen her friend over her own self. She had basically made her friend’s problems her top-priority. As a result, she discarded what mattered the most to her at that moment, which was to successfully cruise through a series of interviews to get a job that she really wanted. In my world, this is called full-on insanity, or maybe absolute stupidity. How can you seriously pretend to be functional if you cannot even sort your priorities out in a way that ensures you to thrive and prosper to the best of your capability? My behavior was a clear display of how it looks like when you live on the other end of the spectrum, a place where you come first in the equation of your own life and elect to be aware of what the ramifications of your choices are for those you love and who trust you. In short, I am the most valuable element in my life, and there is nothing or no one who has the power to disrupt that order.
Did Jennifer call me “selfish” and “heartless” in the email that she sent me the following day? She was actually a bit more virulent than that. Did it matter? Absolutely not! But per this society, I should have been more understanding of the situation in which she had put herself. I should have negated what I knew was honoring me and the people with whom I worked at the time to accommodate her. Never mind our schedules and work plans for the day because of such an outpouring of caring and loyalty for a friend in need. This is the ultimate emotional trap, and Jennifer completely fell for it. I did not, and yet she chastised me for my behavior. And I am sure that there are many other folks who did chastise me for the way I handled this situation. The proper demeanor to adopt would have been to show compassion and give her all the time in the world. That certainly did not work for me. What she and others think of me now? I do not care.
To negate what you are and everything by which you stand is not an option, if you truly desire to live life to the fullest. As soon as you start negating yourself, you begin to die. Your soul ceases to exist. There is no half-hearted option available here. To deny your desires, so you can accommodate a situation knowing that it is certainly not satisfactory to you is not only criminal but it also sets the foundations for the construction of a pattern that will ultimately take away everything that you are. Are you ready to choose what you know really works best for you, instead of settling and accommodating spouse, partner, kids, colleagues, employees, banker, boss, etc.? You name it! May I encourage you to say “Yes!” every single time you genuinely want to say “Yes!” and “No!” when it does not work for you?
To promote the idea that someone else has to come first in the equation of your own life depicts the way most relationships are currently functioning. If you create a rupture with this dynamic, you will be judged like never before. Are you up for it? Although it may not be too pleasant at first, ultimately isn’t it about your life, your happiness and your personal development and growth? Are you ready to show your kids that this is an option, so in turn they will empower their own kids to embrace it?