When I was starting my career someone told me that I have a problem with ‘NO’. He said I was one of those people who will say ‘Yes’ to everything. He said ‘NO’ is such a powerful word that only people with real purpose can say it. I laughed him off. But the words kept lingering in me.
Over time I started looking at how I dealt with this Yes/No scenarios of life. It was true I really had a problem with ‘NO’.
What I learned is that ‘Yes’ is committing; but a lot of ‘Yes’ is over committing
Over the years I worked on this ‘NO’ problem; thinking I will get rid of it, but not really. We all often fall into the pit of wanting to please everyone. It is practically not possible.
Even when we say ‘NO’ there are many who will push you to say ‘YES’ and finally you give away only to later not be able to keep your word. You lose relationships and you lose Goodwill.
I had two instances in my life that I paid heavily on. Both cases I could not say ‘NO’ and then life came in between and I could not keep my commitment. It is hard, especially when you see that your not being able to keep your word has such a spiraling effect on you. It takes so much effort to get over it.
Recently this ‘NO’ came to my mind again. And I went on a long walk holding a ‘NO’ in one pocket and a ‘Yes’ in the other one. Three things emerged.
Never say ‘YES’ when you know you cannot. Don’t waste other people’s life and time. It is true some people might feel bad at first but that is much shorter and less painful than the long grueling after effects of a YES that you cannot keep.
Always try to say YES if it is returning a favor; and make it happen like your life dependent on it
Say No if you have to and do it with Confidence; You will do everyone a favor