To quote William Shakespeare’s Act III, Scene III, Line 92 of Hamlet, “No.”
No. No. No. A few years ago, I had to face the eye awakening experience of waking up in the hospital, unable to move, due to a severely crippling anxiety condition. I stretched myself so thin, physically, emotionally, and mentally, by trying to please everybody that I literally landed myself in the hospital. From that moment on, I have learned the importance of saying no. No excuses, just no.
1. Say no to the toxic people in your life
Whether you want to admit it or not, there is at least one person you just can’t say no too. You can’t seem to delete their number out of your contact list, or leave them alone long enough to see them struggle. Somehow you think you are going to be strong, until they come back along, and you find yourself weaker than ever. This person can be a best friend, significant other, or even a family member. I promise you will experience a whole new level of freedom and personal liberation once you just say no. Say no to the games and the drama; Just walk away and say no. Personally, I don’t think I have ever been happier and more peaceful with myself since the day I decided to say no to the toxic people in my life.
2. Say no to the irrelevant things in your life
A few months ago, I found myself constantly saying yes to things I didn’t even want to do just because I didn’t want to say no and end up home alone. I was clubbing every night, going to dinners and lunches I just didn’t have time for, and was constantly consumed by being there for people who just weren’t reciprocating. Life is so short, you must prioritize your time and energy. When I was in high school, my english teacher would constantly tell us that in order to excel in writing a strong essay you must get rid of the “fluff.” Anything that isn’t positively influencing your life is “fluff”, and must be cut out. Quality is greater than quantity every single time. As my mom would say, “Priorities, Priorities, Priorities.”
3. Say no to disrespect
One of the toughest things to deal with is hearing people talking badly about you. There is no way to describe in words the feeling of your heart dropping to your stomach as you are being crippled by the sharp tongues of others. When this happens, you have two options: you can either passively ignore it or you can say no to the disrespect. At the end of the day, you are the only person who will always be 100% there for you. Do NOT let somebody slander your name and disrespect you. While I believe you should always pick your battles wisely, I also believe that you should say, “no, this just isn’t acceptable,” in situations that are degrading to you.
4. Most Importantly, don’t let anybody tell you no
I have talked so much about the importance of saying the word no, a word that needs to be said, but also needs to be heard. Sometimes it is that one “no” that drives you to do and be better than you ever thought was possible. When it comes to your passions, thoughts, and dreams, do not let anybody tell you no. My dad texted me a quote the other day that I truly believe embodies the idea of never taking no as an answer; “The world is full of successful people who were told time and time again that their dream was impossible. They chose not to listen.” -Ralph Marston.