I really didn’t feel able to say no for the entirety of my life. I always felt that I had to either say yes, agree with someone, or make excuses and worse case scenario, deny my values to go along with the crowd.
It wasn’t until I started to look at who I am, and who I want to be that I realised what my values are.
Now that I’ve done work on myself to realise these are my core values, it makes it easier now to measure things up and see if they agree with these.
If something doesn’t, then it’s out the door.
Sounds harsh, especially considering I have codependent traits and I would naturally want to make peace with everyone, but sometimes you just can’t simply make peace with everyone, especially when they’re crossing your boundary!
So now I’m able to ask myself if a request made to me crosses these boundaries, if it does then I politely decline. If it fits within these boundaries and after fulfilling the request I can say I acted out of respect to myself and to the other person, then I consider whether or not I can fulfil it – it’s still not a yes!
The power of NO has actually let me feel a freedom I haven’t felt before.
I feel as though I’m actually living life now, not just being blown about in a wind, but living by my values and principles.
I feel joy, power and I have self control over my actions and thoughts.
So now, when my thoughts tend toward people pleasing, like they were this morning (I sometimes dwell on people I project being a disappointment to, and think of ways to placate the situation), instead of following up, I reel in my thoughts and weigh them up against my values.
If I’m a man of integrity, I will please first of all God, and second of all my true self. Is doing XYZ going to be respectful to God and myself? Will I feel stupid after? Will I regret the decision? Will I come to remorse? Or will I be full of joy and still able to hold my head high in self respect?