No. And Yes. It just depends in what context you say the perceived dreaded N word. But for some people, saying no isn’t something that they are fearful of. In fact, it’s something that they can say to others confidently and with no fear of the response of the other person. But there are people out there for who saying no can be hard to do. And yes, I was one of those people.
I’m quick to say yes. Yes to helping others. I enjoy working with people and don’t want to let them down. My fear of saying no stems from my past conditioning, having always been in “support” roles, my time was greatly spent in a reactive state, assisting others when they needed help, quite often without any prior knowledge or planning. And that was ok, because I liked to help where and when I could. That was what I thought was my job.
But once I started figuring out what I wanted to achieve, I realised after some gentle and at times tough coaching, I needed to prioritise my time towards doing what I needed to do in order to achieve my own goals. And this meant saying No. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. I had little pools of guilt in my stomach everytime I felt like I disappointed someone by saying No. But I thought, it’s ok – I want to do this as it’s helping me achieve and prioritise.