One of the challenging situations we face, especially women is saying “no” and sticking to it or saying “yes” when we really mean “no” and then squeezing out of unwanted situations. I recently learned this lesson myself for I hope the final time. And as I’m facing myself in the mirror without cursing my error of judgement, I felt that others find themselves in similar situations. However, I’m not writing this post because misery loves company.
When we do something against our best wishes or to please others or just out of fear, we suffer the consequences later. It’s like charging an item on a credit card and then the bill arrives. One scenario goes like this. Perhaps the person is a musician and he sends his demo to labels for over a year receiving one rejection after another. He knows exactly what he wants for his music, but over time, starts diluting his dream because his friends and colleagues tell him that he has shot his arrows at too high a mark. “Start small,” they tell him, but that’s not his dream and thinking small goes against the essence of his heart’s desire.
So a small label comes along and offers him a deal, but it isn’t much of a deal and the musician has some bad feelings about it. The musician consults a colleague who tells him to go for it, but he still has a gnawing feeling in his gut telling him otherwise. So he consults a psychic recommended by a friend. The psychic sees a label coming along and signing him and of course the musician interprets this as the small label he doesn’t wish to join. But then his brain and ego start telling him that he “should” sign to that label or there won’t be any other opportunities (fear).
The musician goes against his wishes and signs to the label, only to learn that the label has no real distribution or marketing plan. The musician must pay for his own tours and come up with money to pay musicians, even though the label covers the recording studio costs and not much else. And the whole time the musician feels anguish about the choice he made. Eventually, the project fails and the musician bails out of the contract. But could he have avoided all the drama had he listened to his inner voice and said no, when he felt that was the right response?
Here’s another scenario. A woman in search of a husband has grown tired of the dating scene, getting fixed up with friends of friends and online dating. Then a man suddenly appears in her life, but he’s not her ideal and not even close to what she envisions for herself. Yet, her friends tell her that she’s getting older and older women need not be so picky. She dates this man, but he doesn’t feel right to her, but she feels seduced into being part of a couple. To make a long story short, further down the road the woman experiences a traumatic breakup, finds herself homeless (until she finds a new apartment for herself) and has lost some friends in the process (the ones who told her not to date the guy). Could this situation have been avoided?
And we’ve all been there, done that, said yes when we meant no or said yes, because we worried about our options. And what’s really going on is that we’re afraid. We’re afraid that life is passing us by and our options dwindle with each passing day. We’re afraid of abandonment or being left behind as everyone else pairs off with someone or achieves success in their chosen career. We’re afraid by not saying yes we sabotage ourselves out of another “great” opportunity. We’re afraid that we don’t deserve better or that the Law of Attraction is just bunk and we can’t really have what we want so we settle for less.
And then we feel envious as we watch others living the lives we desire for ourselves. Or we say yes instead of no because we fear confrontation or we fear doing the wrong thing and getting lectures from those close to us (who settled for something and are now miserable). This reminds me of Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” and it’s simple message that we often toss in the towel when we are one step away from achieving our dream. And I have seen this happen in my own life. One time a record label showed up interested in my music, but I had already called my music career quits. Another time after pushing to get an apartment I didn’t even want, a better one came along, but it was too late, I had already signed the lease to the “wrong” apartment.
If you find yourself not owning your “nos” then seek counseling or therapy so you can discover the reason behind your choices. Find a life coach to work with who can help you through exercises to discover your true dream or desire and to heal yourself so you feel deserving of it. There are no shortcuts to healing these types of situations, but taking the first step now will lead to more fulfilling situations down the road. And it can easily start with these words, “I am deserving.”