I can still recall the confusion, excitement, and awe that I felt when I realized that saying “no” was a thing.
Dan has told me, in years past, that I can tend to be a pushover.
Me? Mouthy-Tiffany —- a pushover?
But, yeah – he’s almost always right. I love that about him, but it can be awfully frustrating at times too. Because, I want to be right as well. Don’t we all!
Anyway, back to the “no”.
I was a teenager and my mother was relaying a story to me of a friend who told her employer “no”. The employer had decided, yet again, that the employees would be burdened with more tasks and hours without any more compensation.
And her friend said – NOPE!
Well, actually she said something along the lines of being too old, too tired, too married, along with already doing a good day’s work without a good day’s pay.
And, she was in the right. Make no mistake about it.
But, please note that she, nor my mother, nor I think that anyone should take employment lightly or carry a bad attitude at work. But there are times when leaders just aren’t right. They aren’t treating people right – and are probably making decisions based on the results that they will personally receive.
But, this post isn’t really about telling your boss “no”. It’s really about the moment where you realize that life doesn’t have to be this way.
Sure, it may come in the form of needing to tell someone that their plans for you aren’t right for you and that you’ll have to decline. And that can be in any relationship or community you are a part of. But it’s really about deciding to take charge and responsibility of your own life. Because you are the one who answers for it in the end. No one else does.
You answer for the hours wasted devoted to someone else’s mission in life – when you were supposed to be working on yours.
You answer for the hours you took from your children and family because you didn’t decline someone else’s idea.
So, take a moment to think about it…
Are you a cog in someone else’s wheel? Or are you going to live your life in the way God want you to live it?
Are you there just supporting and furthering someone’s career? Or are you going to build your own reputation and capabilities?
Be assured, that most everyone who has plans for you – aren’t going to want you to have your own ideas. But stand firm. They aren’t you.
Now take a lot of time to pray about it. Pray about how you’re stewarding your life and resources. Are they being spent by man’s wishes or by God’s?
My Words for the Year
I slowly started implementing the word “no” into my work, and daily life a little over a year ago. Though, I definitely need to say it even more. And you know what I’ve found – I’m a little less stressed and I’ve had more time for the things God wanted me to focus on.
I still have a long way to go in cutting away some of the baggage that others have placed on my shoulders – but we’re moving gently along.
In 2020 I’m focusing on “No, thank you”. And when they get pushy, I will have to also work on being gracious.