I had always been led to believe the most powerful word in any language to be Yes, and it can certainly be claimed that when striving for positive results, a nod of the head is the best tact to take. A confident Thumbs-Up is the universal sign that things are looking good, whereas the dreaded Thumbs-Down has ruined many a day.
Yes just rolls off the tongue—effortlessly making all kinds of bold proclamations. Human nature eagerly encourages us to have that unwavering faith that things are going to work out. In contrast, No all too often seems to get a death-grip on the tip of the tongue, reluctant to be the bearer of the news that the positive outcome once believed possible is now gone.
Despite humanity’s love affair with looking on the bright side, after a half-century of having countless opportunities to choose between a Yes and a No, I have slowly but surely come to the conclusion that the power of No, when delivered with thought and care, is far more formidable then any flippant, slippery Yes; which can be offered all too easily if one is too eager to please—or simply scared shitless to speak the truth.
I have come to put great faith in this practice that to have the conviction to reject, refuse, rebuff or refute—is possibly the greatest tool to avoid regret.
Be it in school, work or life, when you are challenged with a specific task with the expectation to succeed, Yes and No can be scary to utter.
To answer in the affirmative is often your promise to deliver—believing things are not only possible, but that they are as good as done. Once this optimistic declaration is made, you have taken the often daunting and demanding ownership of overcoming all obstacles which may otherwise threaten a positive outcome.
To reply in the negative often makes you the bearer of bad news—not only possessing the potential to disappoint, but declaring there’s no point in continuing the pursuit of a once-promising prospect.
The impact of a healthy and mindful Yes is well-documented.
Contrary to it’s often negative perception, a sincere and succinct No, when wielded with forethought and purpose, can actually be one of the great contributors to the success of any goal.
· No can give you control by saving the time and stress that you would otherwise endure by agreeing to take on a pursuit that is not in your best interest.
· No can help you create healthy boundaries by preventing you from getting stuck in a predicament that can be emotionally painful or professionally damaging.
· No can be a sign of confidence by building your ability to survive the often uncomfortable consequences of saying No; as well as acknowledging the positive results from having the courage to avoid pitfalls.
· No can save your ass by allowing you to avoid the temptation of being drawn into an unhealthy or unproductive relationship that you would eventually have to end anyway.
Whether it’s a life-changing opportunity or everyday request, when faced with the decision to deliver a response in either the affirmative or negative, a Yes or No may not be handy; often due to further contemplation or additional information that is required to come to a solid answer.
When these moments of indecision arise, the temptation may be to jump to a shaky Yes or wimpy No; often leading to an incomplete or unsatisfactory result. This rush to give a Yes or No can often be the result of the pressures and limitations that are an unavoidable aspect of life.
The best remedy for this lack of clarity or rush to judgment is a simple, let me think about that a bit. This request for extra time may be necessary to relieve the pressure so you can make the best possible decision, then deliver a definitive Yes or No.