No or Yes Fuels Us
We have a choice to respond with a no or yes in every situation when we stand in our power.
In 2022, we are becoming aware that we have choices. When we say no to situations that are not healthy to our wellbeing, what energy are we putting into the world? And when we say yes, although everything is telling us to say no, and just suck it up, what happens?
We have been taught to be polite and respectful. And sometimes, it is at our own expense. Imagine, a world where a no or a yes fuels us because it aligns with our needs.
Being a leader means being true to ourselves despite the societal pressure to conform. We can’t flip a switch overnight as it takes time to listen to our internal compass. But walking our talk means aligning our words with our actions.
Choosing No or Yes
Savannah Peterson, the Savvy Millennial, is usually true to her word and is never shy to speak her mind and heart. I was moved by a recent article she wrote about how she found herself needing to say “no.”
While she loves the work she is doing in the world, she found herself saying no to a trip to New Zealand and a speaking tour. Why? Well, it seems there are two reasons. One was her own mental health. And second, as an advocate of Mental Health Awareness, she felt she had to walk her talk.
Isn’t that what being a conscious leader is all about?
There are times when we simply need to put ourselves first and say no. Many of us no longer want to be productive; we are not machines or robots. We want to design a life that has flexibility and allows us to focus on our health, holistically. Saying no brings new opportunities that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Opportunities Come and Go
What if there is no such thing as a once in a life-time opportunity? Perhaps we have many opportunities when we are healthy and not rushing around trying to be successful? Maybe when we choose to say no to something that we can’t do at the moment, another opportunity opens up? Perhaps all the meetings and tasks on our to-do list are not necessary?
So what prompted Savannah to say no and share her heartbreaking story with us? In her own words: “It would take 641 miles in a rented gunmetal Toyota Corolla, 57 miles on foot, and 127,170 very pensive steps to stitch up my heart after September 2022. Still recovering from the loss of a dear friend in a tragic accident just 90 days prior, I would lose my chosen brother, and a personal, intimate relationship I cherished in the span of two weeks.
My brother would pass hours after I was able to say goodbye, while I was on stage as emcee of one of my favorite annual events (I finished the gig with “bravery and class” according to the audience). And the weekend after a torn heart, I would officiate the wedding of two of my best friends in front of 100 of their favorite people. Deathbed to stage. Breakup to alter. Life happens all at once; and fast.”
So there was a choice: No or Yes. But for Savannah, although New Zealand is one of her favorite spots on earth, her mental health came first. To grieve our losses, we need to make space and take time to process.
Saying No or Yes Matters
Is it time to become aware that it is human to say no? Trekking into the unknown means our plans are not set in stone. Flexibility is a choice we get to experience. And when we feel something out of whack or alignment, no or yes become questions for our wellbeing.
When we pause, can we question? Can we look at what is causing us stress and start saying no? No one else will because no one knows what we really need. And the bottom line is if we don’t take care of ourselves, who will?