Learning to say NO has been one of hardest lessons for me to learn. I am one of those people who loves to say yes when an opportunity excites me or when I know I can accomplish the task, even when it’s not in the best interest of my goals.
This is where lessons from a 2 year old kicks in. Recently, my son has had an obsession with playing his toy drums to Imagine Dragon’s “Believer.” If it’s time to eat, take a bath, or go to school, he will say “no mommy, I play drums to Believer.” While I get extremely frustrated and have to tear him away screaming sometimes, I have to give him credit for his determination and willingness to say no to anything and anyone that gets in his way of fulfilling his desires. It really got me thinking about how difficult it is for adults to say no and yet for kids, it’s second nature.
A couple weeks ago I was faced with a difficult decision: say yes to a potentially amazing opportunity to work alongside an incredible mentor (and friend) and have some financial stability, but doing tasks and projects that were not in line with my goals, mission and purpose, or say no and walk away to give me the space to focus on my goals.
I said no.
I said no because I needed to be honest and clear with myself. If I had said yes, I would’ve been giving up on myself, and I wasn’t ready for that.
Writing the email was terrifying… not because I feared her response, but because it was the first time I outwardly admitted to someone what I truly wanted. I used my own tactics on myself and this was the result:
Excerpt from my email:
Ironically, I had to do is exactly what I have been asking my clients: What do you want? Why do you want that? And is what you’re doing going to help you reach your goals?
With that being said, my burning passion is to bring ambitious female entrepreneurs (and especially mom entrepreneurs) together to connect, collaborate, and support each other while also helping each of them reach the highest potential they can in their industry and business. Just through all my experiences and meetings over the last month, I can see that 1+1 = 4 when it comes to women. We are so much stronger together. I decided that all the activities and clients I take on needs to encompass my mission and goals.
After really thinking about all the options I have on my plate, I don’t think project managing a launch or managing a group program is in line with my goals.
Outlining my goals, staying focused on what I want and being honest made all the difference. I not only received an extremely supportive response but also my honesty helped her become clear with what her needs were too. We were on the same page. That sense of clarity is only something that can be achieved with being honest with yourself and making space for what is important. In my case, the way to make space was to say no.
So, whenever you are in a situation where you aren’t sure what to do, step back, ask yourself “What do you want? Why do you want that? And is what you’re doing going to help you reach your goals?” If the answer is no, then say no and move on.