By: Kara Posner
“When you really want to say no, say no. You can’t do everything -or at least not well.” -Anna Quindlen, columnist and author
I got this quote off of one of those quote-a-day calendars. I love it because it reminds me to empower myself. Since I don’t have a magic lasso and an invisible jet, I am left to arm myself with powerful words. The word “No,” is typically associated with powerful negativity. I also associate it with the oversized novelty stamp that Jesse Helms had on his desk the day my AP Government class visited Capitol Hill. No matter your politics, you can admire that man for making a friend of the word “No.”
But, back to me saying “No.” Too many times I have said I can handle the extra work or the extra travel, and I ended up exhausting myself. The work did not get completed on time, or sometimes not at all. While I was running around caring for everyone else I didn’t have enough time to care for myself, too. It negatively affected me and the people whose requests I accepted. I had to get out of that “Yes” rut.
I am learning that saying “No” is not as negative as I feared. It is often appreciated by the person making the request as well as liberating for me. They can find someone who can do the work better and faster than I am currently capable of. For me, I can focus on my most important tasks and do work I can be proud of. I can also cut back my antacid budget. When I say “No,” I can say to myself. “Yes! Nice move!”