How many times have you said ‘yes’ to something when you really wanted to say no? OR worse … you did say no and then found yourself having to explain to that other person why your answer was no. I have come to the point in this journey where I believe whole-hearted that “No is a complete sentence” and it doesn’t require a two-hour dissertation about why I said no to your request.
I made a decision this month. It was a BIG life-changing decision and one that I had been going back and forth on for years. It took me a long time to come to this place but once I said it, once I felt it, I knew that it was the right decision. The decision affected others who are closest to me so when I shared my decision, the backlash started. The old me wanted to back down. I felt like I had to explain my decision and that just made me feel defensive which then turned into anger. At the end of the rollercoaster ride through all my emotions, my Quest-questions came up, why couldn’t I just say, “No I don’t want to do that. This is what I want to do and I’m going to do it.”
When I began to realize that my old behaviors and coping devices were no longer working for me anymore, it was too late. I had already engaged in WAY too many conversations about my decision. I had gotten defensive, stomped around and basically felt a temper tantrum coming on (and I wonder where my son gets this behavior?). Why the drama? Why didn’t I just hold my ground and start to move forward making plans with my new decision?
It was a light bulb moment … the fact that I was ready to back down meant that I was doubting myself. I wasn’t trusting my ability to make my own decisions. I had allowed others to influence my choice, even though I knew that deep in my heart, my decision was truly what I wanted to do.
While I was sorting through my emotions, I happened to catch the movie called How Do You Know and I received one of those infamous messages that always seem to come to me when I’m looking for answers.
In the movie, one of the main characters George hands his romantic interest Lisa a can of Play-Doh for her birthday. George explains the story about the Play-Doh – that this ‘moldable substance’ was originally used to clean wallpaper (it’s true, Google it!) and as the need for wallpaper cleaning was no longer needed, Noah McVicker (the inventor of Play-Doh, yes, that’s his real name) with the help of his sister-in-law (a teacher) discovered that school children preferred it to traditional modeling clay. McVicker added color and Play-Doh as a toy for kids was born.
George then says to Lisa, “So I have kept this for a long time, as proof that we’re all just one small adjustment away, from making our lives work.”
As I continue to move through this discovery process, I’m learning that ‘No is a complete sentence.’ And that the word yes can be its own sentence as well. The story about George and his Play-Doh birthday gift shows us that when we learn to say no to what we don’t want and ‘yes to the small adjustments in life’ then it can certainly add up to big changes in our lives.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paloetic/4766601047/