I hope so, because no matter how many self-help techniques you use, breaking this one rule will still destroy your peace. It is that powerful.
Let’s look the rule, how to recognize it and keep it much more of the time.
Say yes to what is good for you and no to what is bad for you.
The problem is, many adults say no to the good and yes to the bad. This article will teach you how to identify and change that tendency.
Think of yourself as a house. A house has walls and a door to keep the rest of the world outside, allowing for peace and safety within. Keeping the rest of the world out is so critical to peace that it is illegal for strangers to enter uninvited. If this weren’t the case, it would immediately become impossible to live in peace.
The same goes for your person. What enters your mind and how you use your body is up to you and not anyone else. When you say yes to bad things, it is like inviting a bad person into your home. When you say no to good things, it is like telling your best friends to leave.
Here are some examples of how you might do this:
• You lead a busy life and people keep asking you to do more. You tend to say yes to every request. You are really saying yes to more work than you can handle, more stress, and resentment. You are saying yes to feeling used and taken advantage of.
• Your spouse doesn’t do his part around the house, yet expects you to take care of him. You tend to do what he wants in order to please him. You are saying yes to stress, exhaustion, overwhelm and resentment.
• Your business partner constantly wants to buy the latest and greatest equipment and gadgets for the office. It is not in your budget to keep spending on non-essential upgrades and devices, yet you cave to the pressure while going broke. You are saying yes to a ton of financial pressure, anxiety and a future out-of-business sign.
• You are on a strict diet and are offered a martini by a friend. You say yes, wanting to go along with the crowd. A few deep-fried appetizers and a brownie follow the martini. You are saying yes to obesity, heart disease diabetes, low self-esteem and more.
There are several surface reasons:
• Fear of rejection or disapproval
• Fear of abandonment and separation
• Fear of hurting someone’s feelings
• Fear of punishment
• Fear of being seen as selfish
• Fear of our own overactive, critical conscience
In other words, surface FEAR keeps us from drawing the line and keeping bad things outside. In order to keep the bad out, you need to be emotionally strong enough. Emotional strength, like any strength, can be developed. It begins with seeing the truth.
Saying no to what is good guarantees no contact with what makes you happy and healthy. For example:
• Someone offers to help you with your heavy workload, but you refuse the offer. You are saying no to a lighter burden and greater productivity.
• Someone offers to listen to your problems, but you won’t share. You are saying no to connection and compassion.
• You see a great opportunity to take a day at the spa, but do not allow yourself the luxury. You are saying no to relaxation, peace and stress release.
• Your kids invite you to play a game with them, but you tell them you are too busy. You are saying no to connection, love, fun and deeper meaning.
• You consider going for a nice walk to get some exercise and relax, but choose to eat dessert instead. You are saying no to your mental and physical health and self-esteem.
And so on. Avoiding the good things kills your potential for health and happiness.
There is no way to achieve inner peace while saying yes to the bad and no to the good. Imagine, you go to work and shoulder your co-workers’ burdens, never saying no to any request. Then you come home and do the same with your family. By 11 PM, standing over a sink of dirty dishes, you are exhausted and dread how early you need to get up in the morning.
Will learning to meditate or visualize inner peace soothe your overwhelmed mind and body under these circumstances? Not a chance.
Learning to respectfully say no, however, will work miracles in your life. Learning to say yes to healthy opportunities will take you in an entirely new direction.
If you would like to receive personal coaching from Mike Bundrant to apply this rule to your life more effectively, please fill out the form below and someone will contact you soon.