Free To Say “No”

I am a doer. I find it really hard to sit in a kinder AGM and NOT put my hand up to help/lead the kinder committee. If there’s a job to do, I’m likely to give it a go.

The problem is that I am smart and competent (and really humble), which means there’s not really much I CAN’T do!

But simply because I CAN do something, doesn’t mean I SHOULD and I am slowly learning how to say NO!
1) The BEST YES!
A few years back I read a book called ‘The Best Yes’ by Lysa Terkeust. The basic premise of the book was that I need to focus less on the discomfort of saying ‘no’ and focus more on saying ‘yes’ to the things that really matter to me – my BEST ‘yes’! It really helped change my thinking and I feel much less guilty about letting offers pass me by if they are not in line with what I believe to be where I am meant to be or what I am meant to be doing. Do you know what your best ‘yes’ is? Do you know what you want your life to look like? Do you need to say ‘no’ to some things so you can say ‘yes’ to the best things?
2) Giving others a go
People have reminded me at times that saying ‘yes’ to something I don’t really want to do denies someone else the opportunity to do what they love. Is it possible that there is someone who is better suited to the job? Or someone who needs the opportunity to be asked? Your ‘no’ might be just what someone else needs to open up a ‘yes’ for them!
3) Accept help

Part of learning to say ‘no’ is also letting others help. I’m not great at this for a number of reasons: I don’t want to burden others; they might not do it the way I want; I want to be seen as all-powerful. But, for me, this became vital when I fell (unexpectedly?) pregnant with baby no 3. I suffered from depression and was exhausted with a 1 year old and 4 year old at home. I was trying to hold it all together and doing a pretty poor job of it. I was the Coordinator of my local MOPS group and my Assistant Coordinator stepped up and took the reigns out of my hands. I breathed a massive sigh of relief. She was a completely different leader from me. She was just what the group needed and she relished the role of leader. I am forever grateful to her for seeing my need and stepping up!

Note: I never went back to coordinating that group but I helped out on team for several years and was free to say ‘yes’ to the role of MOPS Regional Coordinator when the opportunity came up – a role I filled for 6 years 🙂
Gabriel ‘Gubby’ Norris
Former MOPS Field Leader

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