Saying No pt2

Here it is people like I promised – Part 2.

Before going into sharing the other lessons learnt,I just wanted to say –Thank you!

The engagement and feedback from last weeks blog post has by far been the most positive since I started this blog.It seemed like a topic that really resonated with a lot of people but I must say I was really humbled and appreciative of all the comments,shares, reposts and conversations etc .

I don’t take it for granted. God bless you all.

As I already touched on last week , I am learning to filter the demands on my time and resources through the lens of what matters to God. In addition to this I am also learning to do the following:

1. Ask myself how this ties into what i want my life to be: A lot of times we fall into the trap of valuing people’s perception of us rather than focus on the key values or convictions that we hold on to as the building blocks of our lives. An example of this is saying ‘yes’ to extra expenditure which could lead to taking on more debt. For a person whose goal or vision is to be debt free saying yes to that expenditure is such a contradiction. The over-aching vision of being debt free should in most cases ( I know life is not black/white) be the determinant of expenditure and not ‘what will people think’ . This is just an example but can be translated to so many other areas of life.If it’s contradicting how you want to live then it probably should be ‘NO’. Eventually people will come to accept it even after resistance.

2. Laying my cards open .This really helps especially in work/professional settings .In the last week I had to say to someone significantly higher on the food chain at work ‘ If I have to take that on it would mean i would have to stop xyz’. I am a firm believer in doing excellent work but sometimes we mistake that for doing ALL work. I had to let this person know the volume of work I had on which meant that it was not feasible (at this time) to also take on what they were asking. Old Oyinda could not even say no to her direct boss. And you know what I have also learnt from doing this? People really appreciate honesty. It is always better to manage expectations and deliver than over promise and under deliver.

3. Understanding the season I am in– I am sure you are wondering what seasons have to do with saying ‘ No’. Actually alot.In the past I found myself saying yes to things and feeling bound by them even though they no longer suited my current circumstances.It was ok for me to say yes to certain commitments in my children’s school when I was a stay at home mum or on mat leave with a bit more spare time during the week.It makes absolutely no sense for me to think those commitments are possible now that I work full time. This particular one is so essential in dealing with the guilt issues I mentioned in last week’s blog.Your life evolves over time and what is a ‘no’ now could eventually be a ‘yes’ or vice versa a couple of weeks/months/years down the line. Give yourself a break.

4. Slow down and think before giving an answer – This is very useful especially around causes or areas that I am very passionate about.No matter the good intentions,there are bound to be disappointments when you over commit and say yes to things that would be almost impossible for you to keep your word on. No matter how passionate I am about fitness saying yes to a Run 200km challenge in March is probably not going to happen. But my old self especially in group settings would have said yes. And while I believe that we all need to challenge our selves(this blog was a challenge to myself) one has to be realistic especially in accepting that most regular people have finite resources. I have learnt that slowing down to think before giving an answer has allowed me to better weigh my options before taking on new commitments .I know people don’t like hearing ‘Can I come back to you’ or ‘I will see what I can do‘ but they have been helpful with keeping my word and being less impulsive with what I say ‘yes’ to.

5. Being at peace with people not being happy with my NO- And this has been where I have grown the most .As I said in the part 1 of this blog,my natural inclination is to want everyone to like me .A by product of that is the constant internal turmoil I feel anytime I say no to someone.’How does she now feel about me’ ‘Is he upset with me’ and so many other questions that I often mull over in my mind. But then I started noticing people in my environment who did say ‘no’ and life went on.An example of this that my Nigerian sisters can relate to : we all know that person ‘who does not do aso ebi’. Some people think they are ‘difficult( read my blog post on this topic) but what happens is we eventually accept them for who they are and stop even asking them about it.  And life just goes on.I had to learn that turning down a request does not mean I am turning down a person. People will eventually realise that it is your right to say no, just as it is their right to ask the favor.Being at peace with people not always liking your decisions (or even you) is such a freeing place to be in.

These are just a few of the things I am learning on my ‘saying no’ journey .I would really love to hear your thoughts and any tips you have that have helped you conquer the irrational fear of saying no.

As always thank you for reading and have a lovely blessed week ahead

Much love

Oyindamola

Photo credits – Pinterest

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