One Single Word
Updated: Jan 3
It’s incredible how you can literally change the course of your whole life with one single word.
I wish this were some kind of sordid exaggeration, but it’s actually very true.
There are two words in particular that come to mind.
Let’s take the word ‘No’ as an example.
My experience suggests that many people find it very difficult to say 'No'.
Consistently accepting invitations when they really should decline.
Accepting whatever the boss throws at them and then finding themselves over worked.
Paying for things they really don’t need because they felt bad after all the effort the sales person put in.
Feeling guilty or afraid, because they are somehow convinced that if they say 'No', it could spell the end of a friendship and it would all be their fault.
But learning how to use that one word, No, could literally change your life.
No, is essentially a boundary and reinforcing boundaries is a skill you need to be able to keep the focus on only those things that you consider to be important.
It's about being very intentional about what you choose to give your time and attention to.
Without the ability to say No, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed by all the choices you have,
Overwhelmed by all your perceived obligations,
Overwhelmed by work
Overwhelmed by people.
And feeling over stretched and over committed.
Saying No, will simply take care of all of that for you.
On the flip side however is No’s long lost brother, Yes.
Yes is essentially an invitation or a commitment you make.
When you say yes (or consent) to something, you’re inviting that person, situation or thing into your life.
It is you that said yes, so it’s up to you to assume the responsibility for doing so.
There’s no point getting resentful and bitter about it, you consented, so you need to own it.
So you're best served by either opting out and changing your Yes to a No, or making the best of the situation you find yourself in.
'Yes' is also essential for growth.
It allows you to move forward into the world and facing your fears.
It's also a way to ensure you stop avoiding life all together.
The skill really is in knowing when and how to use these words and in being very intentional about it.
Because No will take your life in one direction and Yes will take it in another, so you need to be clear about where it is you want to go.