It was not until my mid forties that I learned the positive power of saying a truthful respectful ‘No’. I always perceived that saying yes was the right thing to do, this assumption brought a great deal of stress, unhappiness and often debt into my life.Over the years as a digital artist/photographer I’ve done all kinds of jobs from shooting portfolio’s for models to building a websites, creating books and cd covers and selling my art at shows and online.I often found myself doing things I really didn’t want to, I took on mind crunchily boring tasks simply because I couldn’t say No, in doing so I gave myself a world of problems.
Sometimes it wasn’t as clear cut as saying yes to a proposition, often I talked myself into offering my services because I could see that someone was desperately in need of help in my area of expertise. I believed that by helping people out they would not only be grateful and think well of me, I also believed something positive would come from it. In all the years I said yes to others or to myself when I really wanted to say no, nothing good ever did come from it. Often I found myself creatively and mentally exhausted, Jobs I had taken on as favours of ‘good will’ would become ugly affairs where I found myself justifying my creative approach to a project with people who wouldn’t have got anything if I hadn’t of offered my services.
While jobs that where taken on just for money became black holes for creativity and total joy killers. If I had only listened to the feeling inside of me that had been saying no, no, no and been brave enough to say it out loud I would avoided so much misery. Now If it doesn’t make me happy I don’t do, If something doesn’t feel right I say No, even if it would appear to others to be turning up a perfect opportunity or letting down friends and family. For most people No is not an option because they perceive they need money and friendship more than happiness. For them that may be true but for me life is to short to be acting out other peoples scripts.
The few seconds of embarrassment you may experience when you say a truthful ‘NO’ is a small price to pay for a happier, less stressful life.Without a doubt if No had been utter a little more over the past 20 years we wouldn’t be in a depressed economic climate, drowning in debt. Well that’s the way i see it anyway