Part I: The Power of NO...It's A Complete Sentence
Take a deep breath. Breathe in through your nose exhale slowly through your mouth…repeat. That was for my benefit not yours, although I suspect some of you probably needed to do the same. I have literally been sitting here for the last 75 minutes typing & retyping this intro (overthinking I know…closes my eyes & takes another deep breath). First let me say hello…I realize it has been quite a while since my last blog so let’s just jump right in. Well we can pause right here so I can tell you there are layers to this blog today we will deal with The Power of No. Anyone need to take a bathroom break, grab a snack, something to drink, a pen, paper or something so you can take notes? Don’t worry I’ll wait. Now that you’re back let’s get started. Take another deep breath. Sit up straight, plant your feet firmly to the floor, breathe through your nose & slowly exhale through your mouth. (Honestly we may probably repeat that a few more times by the time we get to the end of this series).
Life as we once knew it has changed drastically whether we want to admit it or not. Who knew wearing masks, social distancing, virtual church, remote learning, working from home companywide, quarantining, Zoom social gatherings & outbreak of COVID would be our new normal? Many of us shuttered at the fact we had to be confined to our homes with our families for an indefinite amount of time. Sure it felt like we were on punishment because the bitter baby mama named Corona Virus came through without permission, wreaked havoc on our lives & refused to leave. While most of us saw COVID Quarantining as punishment I saw it as opportunity. Think about it, we’re always so busy running here & there or working that we neglect our families & ourselves. Before COVID when was the last time everyone ate dinner together or spent time together on a regular basis? Many of us pay mortgages & rent on homes we never get to enjoy because we are ALWAYS busy. And since we are being EXTREMELY honest prior to COVID some of us have been sitting on new business ideas, starting non profit organizations, writing books, scripts, grants, starting that blog, publishing your own music, etc because we are always so busy doing everything but making our dreams happen (we’ll come back to this point in part 2).
As 2019 came to a close I decided 2020 would be the year I was going to put me 1st. I had spent so many years being a cheerleader, supporter, encourager, coach, mentor, nurse, & big sister to everyone else (because I want to see everyone win), I neglected to put that same energy into pushing myself. Part of me pushing everyone else was to avoid some of the projects God placed in my heart to do because I was too afraid to fail (I know I’m not the only one), so it was easier to avoid it by pushing those around me because that’s not failure at all right? lol
At some point you get tired of feeling stuck & watching life pass you by while everyone else lives your dream(s) so you have no choice but to make a choice. It was time to just stop looking at those secret ideas & desires I had saved in my iPad. I knew it was time to pray, create a plan & execute it. Part of that plan included learning the power of saying NO. If you know me, then you know I am genuinely a nice person (I wasn’t always that way) & I find it difficult to say no to people.
But Maaaan, I had been exhausting myself, jeopardizing my health, & using my resources to be available for & accommodate people that would NEVER do the same for me. My mom would always say, “Baby Girl people don’t love you the way you love them.” And of course I thought she was crazy & defended some people knowing good & well she was right. Once I understood that NO is a complete sentence & started using it a lot more, I quickly realized some people really only wanted me around because I’d always say yes & now that I’m saying no our interactions became non-existent (hard pill to swallow). It hurt losing some of those disconnected relationships but I understand one-sided relationships & relationships that only thrive because I say yes are not healthy in the 1st place so they deserve a final benediction.
I guess now would be a good time to tell you nothing is worth disrupting your peace. You have the power to say NO without any apology or explanation (after all no is a complete sentence). It’s ok to put you 1st (some of you only ever put yourselves 1st so you need to change that selfish behavior but that’s another conversation for another day). In our minds we feel like people can’t survive or thrive without us & baby let me tell you they will do just fine without you or me. So it’s ok to let your no be the entire sentence.
2020 taught me that not only was it ok to put me 1st it also showed me what happens when I do. Even in the midst of a pandemic I was able to tap into creativity that had been dormant. I almost missed out on the rewards of saying no to them & saying yes to me. I had spent so much time avoiding my dreams because I was afraid to fail & quite frankly I felt a little insecure & inadequate in my own strengths & abilities that I was self-sabotaging every chance I got. When I sat down, closed my eyes, took a deep breath in, exhaled through my mouth, trusted God & his process he showed me:
· My life has a purpose
· I do add value to others
· I am a person of influence
· I am a trendsetter
· I am an overcomer
· He has invested greatness within me
· I am unapologetically perfectly imperfect
Stay tuned for Part II