This title is totally up for debate. I honestly hope you’re not reading this post to find out what that art is, because to be quite honest: I don’t know. What I do know is that there is importance in knowing when and how to use it. “No” that is.
No… you don’t have to say YES to everything.
No… If you use NO their lives will not end. They’ll figure it out without you’re commitment.
No… You’ll never accomplish any of your own personal goals if you say YES to assisting others in accomplishing theirs — did you get that? As creatives we are what I like to call “creative magnets”. This means folks will take a peek at what we’re creating (or what we’ve already created) and immediately ask you to help them create. And I mean who wouldn’t be flattered by this? You thought I was dope enough to be included on your personal project. You trust my creative juices. And I have no doubt that your project will be dope too. But ma’am/sir – I ain’t got the time for it. Don’t tell me that my time can be balanced. Don’t tell me that we make time for what we want…. Actually scratch that – we do make time for what we want. And what I DON”T want is to be committed to your dream, because I have a dream of my own. So………. NO.
No… you don’t have to be a people pleaser. Like. Why are we so consumed with pleasing people? Think about that fear of disappointing the ones close to you. Is it that you feel like they’ll be so mad at you and your friendship will be over? Or maybe they’ll “never” ask again – and you just want to say no this one time? The gag is if they react this way, they are not your friends. BUT, you knew that right? Why are we holding on to people who make us feel guilty for saying no.
So at this point, you’re probably like: “You right girl, I’m gonna say no and Imma grind for my own. Imma be committed to ME”. And Imma be here cheering you on like, “THAT’S RIGHT SIS (or bro)”. But that first NO is finna’ be so hard. Like, real hard. So here’s some ways you can let that word fly out of your month:
1. Say “no” fast. – we love saying, “let me think about it” or “I’ll get back to you by….” – knowing good and well you. want. to. say. NO. The quicker you say no, the less time you torture yourself about how you’ll turn down your friend (or whoever the asker is).
2. Stick to your “no”. I would say you don’t have to explain your no, but if it’s a close friend… they may be looking for an explanation. So briefly explain and stick to your decision. Family and friends will most likely try to convince you that your reasons aren’t valid or that they won’t impose on your personal life. They’re lying. And to be really real…. You will hate every second you spend working on their project. You’ll go back to the day that you had the opportunity to say no, and you didn’t. So be a broken record and…. Stick to your no.
3. Remember why you chose your “no” – again guilt will take over when you make them no’s rain on ‘em. You’ll start finding different ways at which a “yes” could have worked. You will feel bad… but that feeling will be short lived. Remember all of your plans and goals and how time is an important piece in obtaining them. Saying “no” makes sense because you can say “yes” to consistency, being disciplined, and accomplishing those ideas that’s been collecting dust in your creative closet.
*cues Mary Mary* “Nobody told me the road would be easyyyyy” ……..
Saying “no” is NEVER easy. But the easy road leads us to a place we’d rather not be. How long will you put off your own dreams and goals because you’re so committed to helping someone else reach theirs? This may be you working your 9-5… fact will always be that you are a part of your boss’ team. A team that is consistently helping them and their business (THEIR DREAM) prosper. Or maybe you’re stuck singing backup when you really want to be lead. Maybe you need to say no and begin working on your own music project. Folk will always ask you how’s your music going, how’s your business going, how are your dreams going? If you can’t even answer that for yourself… you’re in trouble fam. Real trouble. Start saying no… today. Like yesterday.
Just. Say. No.
“Saying no can be the ultimate self-care” – Claudia Black