Something I am learning lately: hearing no can be a true gift and a marker of honesty. I am not talking about someone using their position of power to oppress or deny someone else, but I am talking on a more one to one level, friend to friend, coworker to coworker, business to customer kind of deal.
Recently, I feel like I have been surrounded by the kind of people who'll just say yes to anything without any future regard. Spoiler alert - it hasn't worked out so well. The past few months have been a series of picking up many pieces that came crashing down. Amid the confusion and frustration, I just kept asking myself "how did we get here?" And it came down to this: no one was telling me no.
All of a sudden I was racking my brain for things I said yes to that never delivered on. As a creative it can be so so tempting to jump on anything and everything someone asks me to do. I am constantly looking for validation for someone to give me a sign that I am not wasting my time pursuing a creative profession. So when someone throws me a line by asking me to create for them, that validation is so tempting. It's hard to say no, because who knows when I am going to get my next opportunity.
When I am being honest with myself, I know that is selfish. I don't want to be the kind of put someone in a tough position, personally or professionally, because I didn't know my own capacity.
In a lot of ways starting this blog was a yes to myself. It was something I had been considering for years, but never gave myself the permission to do. I don't know if you have it too, but I have a little teeny tiny persistent voice inside me that holds onto some long shot ideas and unabashedly urges me to pursue them. I am still learning how to be committed to this big fat yes that I said and I'm hoping it will teach me more about the need for follow through.
For those few faithful friends who have been walking through this journey with me, thanks for your patience and commitment. I am excited to say yes, because I have started exercising saying no.