Why? Because my gut has been telling me, in no uncertain terms, to say no to something about which I had previously said yes.
I’m a firm believer that when our guts are giving us advice, we’d better listen.
The gut never lies.
But despite this truth, as I started to think about this situation, I realized that my gut had been saying no to it from the start, and I’d nonetheless allowed myself to be talked into it because someone else thought it was a good idea.
Whoops. I should know better.
Because this is a story my clients tell all the time. A few examples:
“My dad wanted me to go to law school, even though I knew I wanted to be an artist. Now I’m $200,000 in debt, working for a huge law firm and I hate my life.”
“I had a feeling that my boss was going to turn out to be a total tool when I interviewed for this job, but I wanted so badly to be out of the old one that I took the offer anyway.”
“My gut is telling me not to go out and pitch my PR business live anymore because I’ve tapped out my local market. But all my marketing friends tell me to keep going, even though more and more of my business is coming through online. I’m losing money and time every time I do a live event.”
Need I say it again? The gut never lies.
This stuff is really important. Why?
Because saying no when you know you need to say no is a form of self-respect. (tweet this)
If you do not say no when your gut tells you to, you are denying the innate knowledge your body is giving you.
If you say yes when your gut is telling you to say no, you are betraying yourself.
If you don’t say no when you know you should, you are denying your own wisdom.
And the consequences for this can be dire.
I can absolutely guarantee you that when your gut is telling you to say no to something, THERE IS A VERY GOOD REASON. And not necessarily an ominous one.
Turn down that shitty client for more work, and your ideal client will walk through the door tomorrow, when you’ll have the time and energy to say yes.
Turn down a second date with that guy who looks great on paper but who you aren’t really attracted to, and a more eligible fellow will find you next week.
Turn down that job you don’t really want but x person thinks you should take, and another better opportunity will come along next month when you’re still looking.
Sure, some of this requires you to have faith that the exact right thing, that perfect scenario that you envision at work or in life, is on its way to you, at exactly the right time. (Hint: it is.)
But one way to make sure that you never get what you really want is to settle for something less.
I want to make sure you don’t become that person!
Today’s the day: take your own advice, listen to your gut, and say no when you know you need to.
It’s the only way to be sure that you’ll be open to something better down the road.
Wishing you a week of taking your own advice.
PS. As I’m sending this out, I’ve just learned of the passing of Maya Angelou. We’ve lost one of the greats. I can’t let this go without conveying one of my favorite quotes of hers:
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. . . . Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”
SHARE THIS POST