The Most Powerful Word
No really is a beautiful word. Here’s why:
- No allows you to preserve the passions in your life. You say no to lesser things and protect the boundaries of your passions. Like stones lining a garden, your no forms the lines around that which you will weed and water and cultivate.
2. No makes your yes stronger. When you know your limits, you will not agree to do things you should not do. Time is limited. Energy is limited. Resources are limited. You can’t say yes to everything. When someone has good boundaries and they tell me no, I trust them. When they tell me yes, I trust them. Because they are willing to say no when they need to, I know they are not saying yes lightly.
The bible reinforces this: Let your yes be yes and your no be no. (Matthew 5:37)
3. Saying no is a skill like a muscle. When you know you need to start saying no, you get stronger the more you practice. It gets easier as you get stronger.
4. You can get help saying No. The goal is to get stronger, but like in weight lifting, at first you need a spotter. When you know you will need to stand your ground and know it will be difficult, get someone to back you up or hold you accountable. Sometimes when people struggle to say no, they feel guilty afterwards. You might need a cheerleader to help you throw off the old guilt as you establish stronger boundaries. I have a friend who is similar to me in personality (hi Kelly!). We talk a lot about our boundaries in the classroom, how we are doing with them, how we enforce them, how we could improve, etc… It helps so much to talk that out with someone who struggles in a similar way.