By Eboni Elise
Queen Shonda Rhimes may be having a fulfilled life after conquering her fears and experiencing her year of yes. (Side note: If you haven’t read her new book Year of Yes, it’s brilliant). That’s good and all but before I can make my move toward a year of yes, I’m declaring the rest of 2016 as my Year of No, officially starting now. It’s my Mother’s Day gift to myself.
It’s time that I take a lesson from my 2 year old and make “No” a regular part of my vocabulary. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve begun to say no to a few requests that would’ve added extra things (and stress) onto my plate. After politely declining without feeling the need to give an explanation, it made a huge difference in my attitude. I felt lighter and a bit more pleasant at home (A lot less of Cruella Deville if you’ve read my “I’m Not Superwoman and That’s Okay” post here). But, there was 1 problem. Had I not been on the brink of passing out from everything else I was doing, I probably would’ve said yes. And then regret it shorty after. That’s a damn shame. I see a need to turn a few times of saying no into a habit.
There is freedom in saying NO!
Are you overwhelmed with a jam packed schedule of things that you feel you must to do? Do you take on extra tasks at work because you want to do a great job or don’t want others to think negatively of you? Ever go out of your way to do things for others because you feel obligated or you want to be the ride-or-die friend? Or maybe you’re the social butterfly that goes to every event because you don’t want to miss out on anything? I’ve been guilty of all of the above and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
So, let’s make a deal. For the remainder of 2016, we’ll make it a priority to say no to things that are not a priority for us. I can almost guarantee that we’ll be better because of it. I’ll be sure to post pics on IG (@colorme_eboni) on what I’m doing with my new found free time to hold myself accountable. You should do the same! Don’t forget to include #YearOfNo hashtag in your caption!
Before you start, here’s what you should ask yourself:
1- What are your priorities? What are 3 things you need to focus on in your life right now? Or, 3 things you wish you had more time to do? Write it down and put them in a place where you can see them daily!
2- Do I REALLY want to do this? You should ask this question every time someone wants you to do a favor for them. If the answer is no and it doesn’t add value to your list of priorities, then don’t do it!
3- Does this person really need me or are they just taking advantage of me? If this is the case, then don’t do it. Period.
4- What will happen if I say no? Nothing horribly wrong but weigh the options just in case. And if the person who you’re saying no to can’t respect or understand your answer, then you may need to re-evaluate that relationship.
And let me add this disclaimer…I’m not referring to situations like “My sister called me crying hysterically because she just went through a horrible break up with her boyfriend but I ain’t going to console her because I’m in my year of no.” But, if her and the boo break up every other week and she needs a shoulder to cry on and a bottle of wine for the 199TH time, then you need to ask yourself the questions above. Use discernment!
Don’t be afraid to say no to things you don’t want to do. And don’t be sorry for it.
Your sister will be just fine. Chances are, she’ll find someone else to entertain her whine (and wine) sessions or she’ll realize that her pity party is over or ditch the guy. Either way, you’ll have time to focus on your priorities.
I’m ready to enjoy this gift to myself. No more tired of being tired! Seems simple, right? We’ll see. I just might get the hang of this.
So, who’s joining me in this? What are you going to say no to? Leave your comments below!