I have always struggled with the act of saying no, standing my ground, and actually meaning it.
When we say it, it sounds easy and doable: if you don’t want something or someone, easy peasy, just say no and do whatever you want instead.
Realistically, that is definitely not the case; saying no is subject to many societal and personal restraints.
Not being able to refuse what we do not want can be due to peer pressure, people-pleasing behavior, not actually knowing what we do or do not want, and most importantly, not having the guts and the power to come forward and refuse a person, an opportunity, a situation, a behavior, a way of treatment, a remedy, or a toxic encounter.
Today I am here to tell you that it is not only okay to say no, but it is also the way to go and can sometimes lead you toward the path of you saying the best, absolute, most convenient yes in your life.
This can be true in many aspects of our lives.
I will explain the power of saying no in different situations:
>> On a career or work level, saying no to a promotion that does not go with our vision for our future, or to an opportunity that does not go with our morals, or to overdoing things and feeling underappreciated, trapped, and suffocating is definitely one step away from finding a better job or opportunity. It’s one step away to figuring out what we want and taking a risk and a leap of faith to what makes us thrive, win, and conquer our career aspect.
>> On a relationship level, it is definitely, understandably, and extremely hard to say no to a partner—whether in small details, like what to do tonight, or in the bigger decisions, like leaving them for good because we were blinded by love. (Yes, being blinded by love is a thing, and if you haven’t experienced it, you might not relate.)
When love is involved, it is definitely harder to differentiate what is black and what is white and easy to get lost in the middle gray zone that might look comfortable at the time but is actually the biggest setback, preventing us from being our better, freer selves.
Saying no to abuse—physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional. Saying no to being a second option, a doormat, the other woman/man. Saying no to an abusive narcissist who is draining the energy out of us. Saying no to a relationship where two visions of life cannot meet. Saying no to anyone who is making us feel like less than we are, useless, or hopeless. Saying no is definitely the hardest, yet most crucial thing to do to get to know ourselves and what we want more.
>> On a friendship level, letting go of toxic friends might seem hard, especially if there is history. Although it seems impossible, staying might possibly lead us to feeling stuck and unable to progress in life, especially if someone is constantly pulling us down for their own personal interests, which is not the definition of how a friendship should be.
>> On a governmental level, I would like to use this chance to highlight the importance of saying no to leaders who are money and power-thirsty, leaders who have been taking away so much from us in Lebanon and every other forgotten, trapped nation. It is time to say yes to other leaders, to start with the man in the mirror as Michael Jackson said, to escape their bribing ways, and to elect new ones.
This is a long list that I will cut down to say, please say no: say no to slavery; say no to being trapped; say no to hate; say no to toxicity; say no to misconceptions; say no to being dragged into situations you do not want to be in.
Saying no is one of the hardest, most rewarding acts one can do, and if you are unable to do it alone, seek help, seek a friend, a therapist, a support system, and I am here to help and listen as well.
Say no to be able to restart yourself, to develop more stamina, to refuel your energy, and to build the better self that you aspire to be.
Turn your dream, your vision, into concrete reality.