I’ve heard many people say “no” is a complete sentence. And although I’ve gotten better about setting boundaries (read about my struggle here), I’m still a work in progress. As I continue to learn how to own my “no,” I’m also learning the importance of owning my “yes.”
During my freshmen year of college, I learned of a study that found even when confident about their response, many women (I don’t remember the actual percentage) start their response with “I think” or “maybe” or “it could be.” It made their opinion quieter and less threatening. I was one of those women but after hearing that statistic, I did my best to say what I mean and mean what I say. However, I fail often. Over ten years later, I’m still hesitant to say exactly what I want or how I feel. Sometimes I’ll catch myself and rephrase my response so that my opinion is highlighted and not downplayed, which is growth. It’s difficult though. So difficult, sometimes I ashamedly opt to say nothing.
I consider the summer of 2011, my great awakening. I was in Hawaii surrounded by amazing people, and I said yes to so much and benefitted greatly from it. But after my dad died in 2013, I didn’t give my yes as freely anymore. In a lot of ways I felt like I had to remember how to live and move in the world and most days that consisted of trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other.
Fast forward to 2020… For my 30th birthday my best friend gifted me Shonda Rimes’s book “Year of Yes,” and it was such a refreshing read. It encouraged me to choose to be the main character in my own story. Always. Not in a selfish, nobody else matters kind of way, but in an I’m deserving of enjoying the good things life has to offer kind of way. I started saying yes to dreaming again and yes to attaining my goals and yes to being kinder and yes to learning more about God. As I transition into different seasons of my life, I need no, but I need more yes too.
Yes to your restaurant of choice. Yes to the job. Yes to the date. Yes to the outfit. Yes to the trip. Yes to Jesus. Spread your yes’ around like confetti! It’s been said you don’t miss what you’ve never had but let me tell you, there’s no reason to miss out on all God has for you. As difficult as this may still be for me, owning my yes will always be worth the work for me.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven