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The Wisdom in Saying No

By saying yes we open the door to fresh opportunities and even adventures that can change our life. It can feel exhilarating and right in those moments we say that small word that changes everything. In saying no however, is it possible to also experience the same? Is no just the opposite always? Isn’t there the chance that saying no to something creates the possibility to saying yes to the right thing for us? I personally feel there is a wisdom to saying no sometimes and throwing caution to the wind is not always the best choice.

There is a security in no. This smaller word than yes gives the impression of stability and things not changing which can be comforting and what we think we need at a time in our life. There are times I’ve said no because I needed to. I was tired, drained, overwhelmed and it wasn’t the right time for me to say yes. I’ve also said no when I was just scared. There is always a time to trust your gut which is another wise saying of advice and sometimes it has been the right thing for me to do.

It is however those times we say no to something only to realize we could have saved ourselves a lot of problems and troubles that I think we miss out. As many times as I have done this it’s become humorous almost. If I had only known right? Yet, we often do know the exact moment we chose to say no. We distinctly remember what we were feeling, why we did it and where we were in life. I do at least, most notably with the bigger things in life but quite a few small things too. The times I said no and spend more energy, time and money doing it the way I thought would work only to get there realize I could have gotten there faster, cheaper and with less effort makes me realize how stubborn I really am at times.

Let’s take for example the amount of money I have spent over the years on something simple like household cleaners. I never liked having my nose burn with the supposedly fresh smell or the way my hands would be dry afterwards. Yet my house was clean and smelled clean or at least the type of smell that let someone know I opened a bottle of whatever cleaner that was to need extra thick lotion afterwards to my hands. I was too stubborn to try anything else because this was what I’d always used. It was the stuff everyone buys so why should I consider anything else? It wasn’t until I was forced into a family budget situation that we needed to cut back on anything and everything that I realized there were options. In fairness I always knew there were other options I just didn’t believe they worked.

When I realized I could save a lot of money switching to natural cleaners and making a lot of them myself, it gave me power. The power I felt was an increase in our family budget at a time we really needed it as well as awareness that I no longer had a burning nose and dried out hands when I cleaned. It felt like a secret unlocked and I could say yes to something now that I probably should have said yes to a long time ago. The ability to go into a store and walk past the aisles of large bottles that costs a lot and go to simple things that also worked well was empowering and liberating in a time when I could have just as easily crumbled.

The wisdom of saying no changed for me in that experience. I now said no to things financially related when I knew I had options. I could control more of my own fate in a storm and could say no to things that I knew weren’t right for me. The yes for me were for things that gave us the edge to living well even during storms in life that threatened to do their worse. It may seem to see that type of power come from just changing what I bought for household cleaners but considering the change in budget impact it was huge. To go from spending $50 to $75 a month on cleaners, detergents and fabric softeners to spending under $20 a month is significant. Over time it became even more significant as we were able to save some extra.