“No is a complete sentence” – this is something I say all the time at work (I think Oprah originally said it and, like everything she says, it stuck with me as a profound life mantra.) This is usually in response to a colleague who was asked to do something way far outside of their scope – a common occurrence in the non-profit world – and they’ve come to me looking for permission to say no. I don’t usually have any problems saying no – to going out, to diets, to buying from your cousin’s Jamberry nails account. No comes pretty easily for me.
Until it didn’t. Until I was presented with an opportunity that I’d thought I wanted until I was laying in bed late at night and had a knot in my stomach about it. My mind wanted it to be a “yes” but as I lay in bed with my grumpy old cat, I realized that I’d have to say no. Once that thought came to me “I have to say no” – it was settled. It felt good. I realized that what I think I should want and what I actually do want might be different things sometimes and having the faith to say “no” to something that just doesn’t feel right in your gut, even if it looks good on paper, is okay. Better than okay even. The right thing to do – the only thing to do.
So I said “no” and the world didn’t end. Turns out, Oprah was right, that one simple word really is a complete sentence.