“A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please,
or worse, to avoid trouble.”
If you are searching the internet for advice on whether you should do something or not, you can get conflicting advice around those simple little words, “yes” and “no”.
Some people exhort you to say “Yes” to every opportunity. Say yes rather than give in to that little voice of fear holding you back. Say yes because you might not have this opportunity again. Say yes because it is more positive…
On the other hand, others say learn to say “No”. Say no to set your boundaries. Say no to be assertive. Say no to be your own person…
It is almost as confusing as dietary advice - is red wine our health saviour or our downfall?
As with all these things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
The most important thing to think about is not the whether you say yes or no, but the why. Before you make a decision, check if you are going into your default mode. Are you always saying yes to this particular person whether you agree with them or not? Are you always saying no to new things out of fear but sometimes find yourself regretting it?
If you feel yourself about to respond automatically, stop for a moment and check, “is this actually what I want to say?” You can ask for time to think - “let me get back to you”. (You can even offer a third option and negotiate something that works for you: “Do you want to meet up for a curry?” “I’d love to meet up - but can we make it a pizza?”)
We may be frighted of what people might think of us if we give the “wrong” answer. The truth is that most of us appreciate people being honest. We would prefer a “good” no to a “bad” yes. Wouldn’t you prefer someone being honest that, for example, an afternoon at an art gallery isn’t their type of thing, so no thanks, rather than someone who says yes and trails around like a moody teenager?
So yes or no? Just make sure whichever answer you choose, you are true to yourself.
If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you, check out how we could work together and get in touch.