It was not until I hit forty that I learned the positive power of saying a truthful respectful ‘No’. Before that I can’t image how many times I found myself saying yes to things I really didn’t want to do, I wrongly perceived that by saying yes was the right thing to do. This perception brought a great deal of stress unhappiness and often Debt into my life.
In the past, when people found out I was an artist/photographer or simply had a basic understanding of the internet they would ask me to do little jobs from them. This would be anything from shooting a portfolio for a budding model, building a website, creating book and cd covers, web banners logos, even newsletters and flyers.
Some of the time I did these things because I really wanted to but most of the time I took on mind crunchily boring tasks simply because I couldn’t say No and in doing so I gave myself a world of problems. Sometimes it wasn’t as clear cut as saying yes to a propositions, often I talked myself into offering my service because I could see that someone was desperately in need of help in my areas of know how. I believed that by helping people out they would not only be grateful and think well of me, I also believed positive things (often of financial nature) would come from it.
I can honestly say that in all the years I said yes to others or to myself when I really wanted to say no, nothing ever good came from it. Often I found myself creatively and mentally exhausted, Jobs I had taken on as favours of ‘good will’ would become ugly affairs where I found myself justifying my creative approach to projects with people who wouldn’t have got anything if I hadn’t of offered my services. Other paid jobs that where taken on just for money became black holes for creativity and while I always did my best on any project I undertook I found it a joyless time. It was at the low end of an expensive studio venture that had back fired leaving me in debt that I created ‘oppressed’ the image that would inspire me to change my world and bring who I was and what I really wanted at my core to the surface.
While many people would say that I had to go through all the negative stuff to find my purpose in life I’m not so sure. If I had only listened to the feeling inside of me that had been saying no, no, no and been brave enough to project that into the world I would avoided much misery. I now have become a great advocate of ‘following your bliss’ (If it doesn’t make you happy don’t do), If something doesn’t feel right, doesn’t resonated I say No, even if it would appear to others to be turning up a perfect opportunity. Sometimes saying No lets down friends and family, but I can say it now without a sense of guilty because I know in the long run it brings me a far calmer and more karmic lifestyle, also it makes me a much better friend or family member.
Many people would say saying No is not an option in their life because they need money or friendship and a No would cut them off from these things. I can not advise you on the way you live your life, I can only say that if you do something that the ‘small still voice inside you’ doesn’t want to do you will ultimately end up far less empowered and far more miserable than the few seconds of embarrassment you may experience when you say a truthful ‘NO’
If you look around at our economic melt down you can see that if more No’s had be spoken we would now not be awash in a sea of debt. I believe that once you utter an honest no because you have listened to your spirit (if you wish to call it that) the universe opens up instantly other possibilities which were never at first apparent, as one door closes another shall be opened.
Having the Power to say ‘No’ has given me the much needed space to realise my life’s purpose and experience the true joy of being in the flow of life.