She wanted to get it done right then and right there. I was hesitant,“This does not feel right.” I saw the annoyance flash across her face, “What happened to Just Do It? This is what we were waiting for. Why are you changing your mind?” I knew that it made no sense explaining, and I was unsure that I could. The decision felt forced, unnatural and nothing felt right. I got off the chair and exited her office, with fear nipping at my ankles.
A few weeks later, the timing was right and I agreed to the same decision. The outcome was perfect. I did not gloat “I told you so” I was too busy basking in the success.
Later she came to me, “Now I understand what you meant. I thought that you were going against all that you preached about taking chances and being proactive. I realize now how different the results would have been if we did it back then.” I was happy that she understood and we were finally back on the same page.
I said “No” because it did not feel right. It was a tough No because I knew that it would seem that I had chickened out or that I was changing my tune. I knew that the No would result in a loss of confidence in me and some questioning of my character. No could be a signal of weakness, an inability to act or make a decision or worse – it could mean that I am an absolute fake.
Yet I said it. I trusted myself and accepted that I may stand alone in that trust. I took a huge risk and was lucky that it worked out.
Trusting in myself is terrifying since in the moment there seems to be so much to lose. The gain is in the long term as every No makes it easier to say another No. People begin to trust my No and I don’t have to justify or defend it. Saying No does not subvert my optimistic nature, in fact, it protects it.
Saying No is only about me. It’s me trusting myself, standing up and speaking up by myself, for myself. It is a testimony of how much I believe in me.
What does your No mean?