Can saying “no” help you grow and prosper?
How do I know?
I learned by making the mistake of saying, “yes” to too many things when I should have said “no.”
I said yes to clients when I wanted to say “no” and “yes” to collaborations, committees and constant availability by phone and email when I wanted and very much needed rest.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t assist others but, saying “Yes” to another request when our plates are already full is detrimental to our growth in many ways.
The obvious reasons
If prayer is you talking to God, then intuition is God talking to you. –Dr. Wayne Dyer
1. Taking on too much causes stress. When we have too many tasks, projects and obligations we create more stress for ourselves. We make big long lists of what we need to accomplish that practically scream, “No rest for you until you do A, B and C…” While of course the list isn’t literally screaming – the knowledge that we have so many more tasks to go before we can breathe that sigh of relief, increases our stress levels.
2. Depletion. When we add stress by adding responsibilities to our already overburdened lives we deplete our own reserves of energy. Doing constantly without allowing for time to recharge our batteries can weaken our immune system. A weakened immune system can lead to many serious ailments.
3.When the going gets tough the tough get going. We think pushing ourselves for long periods without stopping shows how strong or “tough” we are when what it really shows is that we believe our own needs are not as important as pleasing others. People pleasing points to underlying lack of self-esteem. We fear saying “no” because we believe the people we say it to will stop liking or loving us.
4. Something has to give. When we are on overload juggling ten different things at once we cannot possibly sustain this level of activity for very long before something – gives. Usually that “something” is the result of a critical detail that slipped through the cracks because we were trying to do too many things and be all things to all people.
Many people have the misguided belief that multi-tasking makes them more efficient when in fact, it has the opposite effect. Multi-tasking means that you are not focused on what you’re doing. Your concentration is fractured and spread out over numerous tasks. Studies have shown that multi-taskers are not more efficient than people who focus on one task at a time.
5. Fear of missing out. Saying “yes” when we ought to say “no” means that we fear that if we say no we will “miss out” on something. We believe we or the life we are leading is “not enough.” We give our power away to others who we falsely believe “know better” than we do or that their project might offer more opportunity, glamor or exposure. We may also be afraid of what people will say about us if we say no – which leads back to people pleasing.
Give up the need for control
As a 100 percent commissioned sales person I was addicted to control. I never turned off my cellphone. Having it on 24/7 was immensely draining. When it rang in the evening or on weekends I felt my blood pressure rise. I wanted to serve – to be of help but, I also needed rest. The fact that I was on commission though, meant that if I missed a call I was also potentially missing out on a commission. The result was that I took only 4 vacations in 14 years and had my phone and laptop with me for two of them!
This internal conflict between the need to “be there” in order to make a living versus the need for rest and rejuvenation is based on fear and a belief that if we “stop” for even a moment everything will come crashing down. I had this belief and fear based mind-set and because of it couldn’t and “wouldn’t” get off of that treadmill until I was forced to. It was painful at the time but, I’m now very happy with the way things turned out.
How saying “no” helps you grow and prosper
Honor and respect your needs. Saying “no” shows that you have the self-esteem and self assurance to turn things down without fear that you are “missing out.” You are able to prioritize and see which tasks will bring you the most benefit and throw yourself passionately into doing those few things. When you apply your focus to a couple of projects rather than a dozen your energy levels are concentrated and far more powerful. Therefore you accomplish more, more quickly and with better results.
Rest to bring out your best. When you schedule time for rest and relaxation, what you are saying is that you believe that all will be well and that you are not afraid to give up the need to be in control for a while. This is scary for many people. We think we have to do it all ourselves or it won’t get done. The need for control is really based on insecurity and fear.
Fear blocks growth and prosperity. The spiritual reason why you prosper when you say “no” and is because saying “no” means you are not operating out of fear. When we operate out of fear it is because we lack faith. We lack faith not only in ourselves but, in the magnificence of the Universe to always work things out.
Confidence is magnetic. When we can walk away knowing that everything will not fall apart nor will we lose out, our confidence sends out a signal that creates the very things we desire. Walking away from the computer, phone or setting limits on work and “handing over the reins” to the Universe is the secret ingredient in prosperity.
Think of walking away and resting as the period of time needed to “germinate” the seeds of your efforts. If you’re constantly working “the soil” the seeds will never germinate. When we are always in action mode we don’t “let go” and give our efforts time to “germinate.”
Sets things in motion. Saying “no” when we want to say “no” also quickens our prosperity because we are in alignment with our own needs and desires. There is no discord between what we do and what we want.
When we ignore our own needs out of fear and resent what we have agreed to do we know at an intuitive level that we are not in alignment with our soul’s purpose. We feel sluggish, unenthusiastic, annoyed, irritable and disinterested.
Learning that you can let go and say “no” shows that you have grown in confidence, self-esteem and wisdom.
When our actions are aligned with our soul’s desire our energy goes through the roof! We are happy and confident and prosperous.
Do you say “no” when you want to say “no?” What areas do you need to work on? Saying “no” to family, friends, employers?
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