The Power of No: Saying No to OprahNo. What a powerful word! How do you feel about saying "no" in some situations? I notice that saying "no" to certain people can often be challenging for me. I remember it was incredibly difficult for me when I was younger, and it's still hard for me today, as an adult. Sometimes I find myself saying "yes" when "no" would really be more authentic. Do you ever feel the same way?
Today, I had to decline an incredible offer from O, The Oprah Magazine. I was asked to participate in a follow up photo shoot in New York City - yes, a second opportunity with Oprah, as I have shot for the magazine previously in 2009.
|Getting the news of my second opportunity to shoot with O, The Oprah Magazine|
However, I have a very important meeting for my shoe line, Lauren Lorraine, scheduled on the same day as the shoot, and I feel it would be irresponsible for me to miss this important meeting. But how could I say "no" to Oprah and her magazine, all about living your best life? Wouldn't most girls cancel everything and jump at the opportunity to fly to New York for a fabulous photo shoot for a magazine that garners 16 million readers ever month? I want to say "yes!" What an incredible opportunity - again!
|My first shoot with O, The Oprah Magazine|
|Lauren Jones in O, The Oprah Magazine|
Why is saying "no" so challenging? For me, it comes down to a few things. I become anxious that people will get upset or disappointed if I say "no." I feel I might miss an opportunity. I'm also not a huge fan of hearing "no" myself, so being the one saying it can often be challenging. I consider myself to be a "yes" person and pride myself on being open minded, willing, and ready to say "yes", especially when I see a great opportunity - like Oprah calling me for a photo shoot in New York! "No" sometimes seems like a failure, weakness, or, overall, just negative.
Saying "no", however, is an important aspect to living a balanced and authentic life. Our ability to say "no" with confidence can allow us to have peace and feel powerful over our life decisions. "No" is not about being negative, but is rather about creating healthy boundaries, honoring ourselves, and sometimes even honoring other commitments we have made previously.
Feeling overwhelmed or stressed can often be a reflection that you haven't said "no" when you needed to. When we don't say "no" in an authentic way we often end up feeling burdened, resentful, and even victimized (even when we are responsible, having said "yes" in the first place).
Saying "no" has real consequences and we may even upset or disappoint others. We may even be disappointed ourselves! We may also have a significant amount of fear about saying "no" to certain people, like our boss or a friend, or in certain situations, such as at work or with clients, or, I don't know, when Oprah comes calling?
However, there is power in using "no" to your benefit. Being able to confidently, and kindly, say "no" can create freedom - and may even open up the possibility for other opportunities. Most importantly, being able to say "no" with honesty and compassion, we are actually honoring and appreciating ourselves.
- Lauren Jones