A couple weeks ago I wrote about a post called Give Me Free: The Motivation Behind My Lifestyle Change. In case you missed it, it was about my desire to obtain freedom in all aspects of my life. There were some great comments on the article, and one in particular jumped out at me from a reader named James. Little did he know he was refreshing me on a lesson I’m learning more and more every day via my day job and extracurricular commitments:
I’m in complete alignment w/ this post, man!
For me, I had a hellish 18 months. And to top it off, I moved to a city I hate for a woman whose goals were going a little opposite of mine. I was getting sick all the time, ulcers, my pacemaker was wildin out. It got bad. Then last month, I really sat down and told myself to start saying “NO” more often. There is no greater sense of freedom than being able to say NO and not feel bad about it. I’m a Cancer so I tend to really be into family/friends, fostering those relationships, and at times being a pushover. I sat back and looked at the lives of those around me who have benefitted from my selflessness and it was like, they had the life that I wanted. They were steady building and progressing while I was just handing them the bricks. I’m probably not doing the epiphany proper justice LOL but that was my life-changing “aha” moment.
So I would say freedom is being able to put you 1st and giving yourself permission to be selfish.
Well said, good sir. I, too, am/was guilty of being a “Yes Man.” At work, I was so focused on trying to please everybody that I was taking on more projects than I was comfortable with. And as a result, things fell through the cracks or weren’t done properly…which reflected upon me more negatively than had I just said NO to the projects upfront. Outside of work, I’d taken on more writing commitments than necessary — a couple of which weren’t pushing me in the direction of my goals. I’d be asked for things and would instinctively say yes despite my reservations. It caused more stress and took up hours of my time that could’ve been spent elsewhere. Yes isn’t always productive.
And toughest of all, I’ve been taking on a lot of requests for resume and cover letter reviews, book reviews, etc. for free. I’ve realized that I’m happy to help people. But if I want to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself, then I have to say NO more often. Or, if I choose to say “yes,” whatever project I’m taking on needs to be one step closer to freedom.
In fact, I have started to say NO more often. And guess what? People have been completely understanding nine times out of ten. It was all in how I said it. Coincidentally, I read a great article on Pick the Brain (PTB) yesterday titled Why You Need to Say No More Often (And How to Do Just That). If you believe you say “yes” too often, I’d suggest you check this read out. I also mention this article because I want to close out this post by sharing one line from the PTB piece that summarizes my thoughts on all this:
“It’s easier to say ‘no’ when you’ve got a clear focus on what’s truly important in your life.”
Since I’ve figured that out, NO has gotten a lot easier and I’ve become much more productive. How about for you?
NO. I refuse to review your struggling rapper mixtape,