It is typically easier for us to say yes, but requires less effort to say no. This truth is ironic. One would think that the answer that requires the least effort would be the easier one to speak. Not so! Think about this for a moment – it is easier to say yes in the moment because all the emotions that a no stirs up are emotionally draining. You know the ones I’m talking about – guilt, shame, worry, anxiety. Of course, a yes can also bring about worry and anxiety but usually that doesn’t come until you actually carry out your yes (whatever it is that you’ve agreed to). The emotions that come with a no usually come in like a bolt of lightening before you even can get the word no off your lips. This would explain why we give so many yes‘s responses and not enough no‘s ones.
Consider this: When is the last time you felt guilty about saying no? Now, when is the last time you felt guilty about saying yes? When was the last time you exhausted yourself because of your yes? When was the last time you complicated your life by saying no? You see my point. It is easier initially to utter the words yes, but much more complicated in the long run when you are carrying that yes out. If you would have just said no, you could have saved yourself some exhaustion, chaos and congestion in your life. Of course, this rule doesn’t hold true in every situation because sometimes our answer needs to be yes, but only to those things in which we were appointed by our Creator to say yes to. We give away too few no‘s and not enough yes‘s for those right things. By increasing your no, you are creating opportunities for yourself (and others) to say yes…the right yes at the right time.
Let me give you a practical example of how a yes can complicate our lives. I shop at a few stores that ask for my email every single time I go through the check out lane. It might seem rude to decline them this piece of information, after all, this check out clerk is just doing his/her job. But then again, do you think that checkout clerk really cares if you get on their email list or not? Do you really care if you’re on their email list? Of course you do! Once you give out your email, you’re sure to get at least 1 email a day from that store. Take that one email and multiply it with the number of other sweet cashiers you have given this piece of information to. Before you know it, you are getting 20 emails a day that you don’t want nor need. You either delete them quickly or feel the need to look over every ad. Do you see how this yes can eventually add all kinds of congestion to your email box? My predetermined response to their gentle request of “Can I get your email?” is “No thank you”. Every single time, no matter how it is asked or stated, my response is “No thank you”. Then I kindly give them one of my bookmarks that says “Get Your Simple On”, just in case they are curious as to why I said no to such an easy yes.
Our yes can clog up our life just as our email inbox gets clogged. Rule of thumb, if you feel that you can’t say no, you shouldn’t say yes. Basically, if you feel the guilt rising up and you don’t geniunely want to say yes, but you feel obligated and feel that you can’t say no, then you certainly shouldn’t say yes because most likely it’s not a yes for the right reasons.
This is explained so clearly in the Word-
Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (and will put you in bondage) – Matthew 5:23
As a side note, I’d be happy to mail some of these “Get Your Simple On” bookmarks right to your home if you’d like to pass the message of simplicity around alongside of me as you are responding with “No thank you”. Just send me a message or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to hear how you’ve been confident in your NO and courageous in your YES.