The biggest thing I have learned in my adult life, is how to graciously say No. This is something I still struggle with daily. How do I have the courage to put out what I need and want in the Universe? I put my self worth first. I put myself, my relationship with God, my husband, and my son above anything in my career life. When I really grabbed onto this concept, it opened doors to career opportunities I only dreamed of! I always thought I had to desperately grasp onto any job, no matter if it worked for my values, and who I was as an artist and human. That if I tried to make everyone happy, they would be grateful and in turn it would help my career. Plus, that's what a good girl does right? When a person or opportunity that is not right for me presents itself, how do I begin to have the courage to say "No". No is a foreign concept to an artist and dancer, especially a female ballet dancer. We are taught to be so grateful, so eager for each opportunity. To put ourselves and our bodies last.
A few weeks ago, I read a story on Facebook called "11 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You're A People-Pleaser". Oh boy. Yes, Yes, and Yes. Now, being a people pleaser feels good. It feels like you are being humble, respectful, disciplined. In my beautiful and strict training as a ballet dancer, I got in the habit of making a "No" into a "Yes". Over stretching my soul, body, mind, and time. Taking jobs and opportunities for the wrong reasons. And at the end of the day, feeling the least like myself and covering a path I was not prepared to go down.
Now, why is this a bad thing?
It's ridiculously Unattainable to please everyone.
You cannot make everyone happy. Not everyone will like you, need you, cast you, or want you in their company. This is probably the HARDEST concept for myself, however it can be very freeing once we take it to heart. There are beautiful opportunities that WILL cast you, love you, enjoy you, and need you! By blooming in your own right to who you are as a person, you will attract the people and opportunities that are right for you!
"A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms." ~Zen Chin
It sets yourself up for failure.
If you tell someone "YES" when you know it's a "NO" because you want to please them at that moment, you will end up doing one of two things:
1) Completing the job with resentment or negative feelings. This is not fair for yourself, or the person you said "YES" to.
2) Flaking last minute on the job or opportunity, because of the reasons you wanted to say "NO" in the first place.
Remember, once you commit to someone, it is in your hands to be respectful and follow through. Even if they "pressured you", offering an illusion of things they could give you or bring you in the future, it is up to you to decide what's right for your life. NO AMOUNT OF FAVORS DONE FOR SOMEONE ELSE, WILL ADD UP AS CREDIT IN YOUR LIFE. There are no chips to cash in, no favors that will come back to you later. I capitalize this, as I've felt "pressured" in the past in hopes it would help me later, and these things promised have never come to fruition. Give yourself freely and fully, whether it's a job, opportunity, or friendship, but never expect anything. This will give you peace in your life, I promise!
It sets you back.
Think of where you want to be in life, love, career. Each path we take determines our destination. How we get to each point we need to is solely based on the decisions we make. Now the amazing thing about this, is we are in COMPLETE control of the opportunities we say Yes or No to, and how we handle that. If you keep your goal in your heart and mind, and are brave enough to focus purely on that goal, you will get there. God and the Universe will guide you. Ask for what you need and where you want to go, and good people and opportunities will present themselves if you have an open heart and eyes. You may find you are steered towards a new path at each destination point, and if you really listen to your heart, you will know when it is right. You also will respect everyone and the process, when you graciously decline an opportunity that isn't right for you.
stand tall, and know when to bow.
Now in saying all of this, I do think humility and respect are two beautiful qualities one must have in order to develop a successful career and life. This means knowing when to work hard, give extra, and be grateful for an opportunity someone has given you. Knowing your place is important, and respecting someone above you. Working hard for someone else's goal, when it serves your education as well. We all have work before us that we still have yet to accomplish, and lessons we still need to learn. I love knowing that even as a teacher, I am always a student. Always respecting those in higher positions, and learning from those before me. It is definitely a balance. Respect must always be there, however martyrdom must never be an option. So when we focus on our true heart, we can do more than we have ever dreamed. Be courageous and confident in your dreams, for they are why you were put on this Earth!
"A brave heart will always flourish, and shine like a bright beacon, encouraging those scattered in darkness to light their own way home." ~ Addison Holmes