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The art of saying NO

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By POOJA  MARWAH

In today’s accelerating environment, most of us are juggling work commitments, social obligations, family duties and so on. In all this shuffle, the one person that truly misses out on their own life aspirations is YOU – the person reading this blog.

Yes, everything is important. You have deadlines, travel plans that need to be changed, kids routines that need to be managed, a sudden presentation, a friend or family member that needs you, but .. and I use the word BUT –
Where is the YOU in all of this?
Irritable, frustrated and somewhat disillusioned with life, perhaps?

There is a word I have recently started incorporating in my life and believe me, it has transformed me to a level that puts me above everything else. It isn’t being selfish, as most people would casually say, but about loving your own self. Its about putting YOU above everyone else, for this was intended to be YOUR life, wasn’t it?

The word NO, is an essential life skill to have. If something doesn’t serve you, or makes you happy, don’t do it. If someone hurts you or is harsh, learn to walk away, no matter how hard it may seem. If a time comes when you have to choose between another’s happiness over yours, chose yours! For only if you are happy, can you hope to spread that joy around.

Despite being connotated as a negative word, there is nothing negative about NO. Infact, its about setting boundaries, that align with your values, priorities and mental well-being. It  gives you time to do the things that you want to, in a way that works for you.

Something to remember here is that, there will always be someone who isn’t happy with you. There will always be someone who feels you could do better, or behave more appropriately or speak softer. It’s human nature to pick out faults when things don’t go the way you want them to, or people don’t react in the manner you deem fit.

One of the greatest challenges in saying NO, lies in the fear we have of disappointing or upsetting others. And this is when you need to take a deep breath and tell yourself that YOU are important. It’s an act of self preservation, of self care! But sadly, the suffixes added to SELF turns it into SELF-ISH!

Paradoxically, learning to say NO, actually strengthens your relationships. By being honest and authentic with your loved ones, colleagues, and friends, you end up building trust and respect. Because when you do agree to something, it allows you to be fully engaged with it, as you are not burdened by an overwhelming number of commitments.

The art of saying NO, is a skill worth mastering. It will empower you to create a life that YOU want and nurture meaningful relationships. So free yourself from unnecessary stress and exhaustion and politely master the art of saying NO.

(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes an contemporary living and offers incisive reflections
on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myraid stuggles we face each day.)