This week I decided to say ‘no’ to a work project that wasn’t a fit for me. Saying ‘no’ has always been hard for me – I like being able to say ‘yes’! I really tortured myself over the decision – all kinds of ‘shoulds’, or Gremlins, as they are often called in coaching, kept coming up. But as I really considered where I want to be putting my energy and time, it became clearer that saying ‘no’ was what I needed to do. It was hard – while saying ‘no’ was about honoring my values and my path, making this choice also meant saying ‘no’ to money, disappointing others, and creating uncertainty about what would come next.
Yet, once I did make the decision to say ‘no’, it’s been really interesting to see what has opened up for me: I finally started this blog, which has been a project in my mind for the past 4 months; I was approached about collaborative work with other coaches; I reconnected with former colleagues about my coaching business. Overall, by being able to say ‘no’, I feel clearer about what I want to say ‘yes’ to in my work, and my life.
What do you want to say ‘yes’ to? What could be possible if you say ‘no’?
Saying “No” does create a space for something different and often better. However, sometimes it isn’t us saying “No” to a project, but Life saying “No” to us.
For the past three weeks I have worked and planned for a commitment that would keep me busy through July. Today that fell through. Within two hours I received a phone call from a widow whose son recently died and was reminded me why I need to keep my life flexible enough to serve in the way I am best suited.
When Life says “No” to you, asking “What is it I am to do instead?” or “”What good can come from the space that has been created for me?” invites all kinds of possibilities!
Thanks for bringing another dimension to this discussion. I love your points about what’s possible if we are open to notice and learn from what life brings us – another whole dimension to ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
I’m reminded of the adage, ‘life is what happens while we are making other plans’. While we strive to be mindful of our choices, and of how and what we want to create in our lives, it seems that some of the clearest (but also sometimes difficult) choices seem to come from responding what life brings us.
As you say, the creativity comes in seeing the possibility and potential regardless of how the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ arrives!