Saying NO to Other Things Means Saying YES to Yourself


Over time I learned that saying “No” to certain things means saying “Yes” to yourself more. Declining an invite to go out because you want to rest for the weekend. Refusing to buy a product that your friend sells because you want to save money. We should not feel guilty or embarrassed for every “No” we told someone. Why?


Needs > Wants


We are all humans who desire something in this world. It is normal to dream of getting your hands on that gadget you saw online, or to taste the food that you have been wanting to try for months now. Having these thoughts does not make you greedy. But you must always keep in mind that the things that we want are not necessarily the things that we need. It is important to distinguish your needs and wants. Do I really need that overpriced newly-released phone? When my phone is still in a good condition. Do I really need to eat at that restaurant now? If one meal already costs me a weekly allowance. It does not hurt putting your needs first and putting aside your wants for now. You can always go to that restaurant when you have extra in your pocket. In a few months, new phone models will be released. So every time you desire something, ask yourself first, “Do I really need this now?”



Acknowledging Your Limitations


We must acknowledge that we can’t have everything that we want. We are just humans. Just like how we can’t have everything that we want, we can’t also do everything at once. There is a limit to what we can do at the moment. There is also a limit to what we can spend in terms of money and time. Acknowledging limitations means I can’t spend a thousand pesos for a lipstick because I will be short on allowance for next week and the pay out is still at the end of the month. I don’t want to owe money from my friend because I spent it on an item I could have bought some other time. Acknowledging limitations means I can’t attend an event I want to because I have work to do which is important. So always think twice before making a decision. Do not be impulsive.


You Are Not Here to Please Other People


Why do you think you need approval from others? Why do you seek validation from strangers? Pleasing other people won’t ever make you happy. You are not in this world to please everyone. Don’t change who you are to belong. You don’t need to like what everyone likes. It’s okay to share a different opinion from the rest. You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing. Say “No” to pleasing other people and say “Yes” to being the authentic and real you.


You See The Bigger Picture


Saying no means saying yes to yourself. Yes to the well-deserved rest you earned for the week. Yes to finally starting what you have always wanted to do. Saying no to the things you have already done multiple times is not a bad deed. It signifies growth. You are done with drunk Saturday nights because you decided to spend it writing the first page of the book you have always dreamed of. Deciding not to go out because you want more time for yourself or your passion is not a bad decision and definitely not being a bad friend. Focusing on what you want to achieve involves removing distractions. To get where you want to be in life, sacrifice and compromise is needed. You may lose some of your friends. But that’s life. You grow, and sometimes you lose people along the way because they are not part of the next thing God has planned for you. You are going to change habits because they no longer help your current and future self. And that’s okay. 


Develop a Mindset: Long Term > Short Term

Sometimes, “No” is not “Never”, rather it is a “Not right now”. Because you have more important things to do right now, you have to postpone your “Yes”. Assessing the situation first before deciding is a great attitude to develop. My mom taught me that before I do something, I must always ask myself how it is going to benefit me in the long run. We must prioritize what is best for us in the long term. Thriving today because you are thinking for the future is better than short term satisfaction and happiness. The “Long Term > Short Term” mindset can be applied in many things, but not everything. Sometimes the risk is worth it, but not all the time. For instance, every month you buy new clothes because you want to reward yourself. You spend at least 2,000 Pesos for your clothes. Months have passed, you have a lot of clothes (some of them you only wore once) and suddenly you lost your job. You have no savings because you spent it all on clothes. Where will you get the money to apply for a new job? You can sell your clothes, but the return is going to be less than how much you paid for. Rewarding yourself that much on a monthly basis was unnecessary. If you had saved up, you wouldn’t be in that kind of situation. If you learned to make decisions by thinking of the long term, that situation could have been prevented. Before you decide on something, think about how it is going to affect you in the long term.
We should not feel guilty or embarrassed for every “No” we told someone because it can be a “Yes” to ourselves. Because we have things that we must put first. We are thinking of its long term value. We are saving for a bigger purpose. These are the moments that “No” becomes a right answer.
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2 Replies to “Saying NO to Other Things Means Saying YES to Yourself”

  1. You are so right, I had gone through difficult periods in my life, I learned how to be more open with myself and get to know me more it really helped me and I find myself a stronger and better person now

  2. As a stay-at-home mom, I think this is a *critical* issue. We spend so much time focusing on our family; making sure they are fed and have clean clothes to wear. I spend countless hours each week cleaning so that my daughter can crawl on a clean floor. And at the end of the day, I just want to rest; it’s hard to take a step back sometimes and remember that I’M important too.

    Thank you for the reminder! <3

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