A yes isn’t a yes unless you can say no

Unless you’re willing to offer a genuine, clear ‘no’, we can never be sure that your ‘yes’ really means anything at all.

The burdens we make for ourselves and others by saying yes but meaning no cause endless difficulty. Agreements that everyone knows are insincere from the start. Commitments taken on with a heavy heart. Deferring, delaying, avoiding what’s important. And the institutionalisation of yes that isn’t really yes leads to relationships, organisations, perhaps even societies burdened by resentment and insincerity.

The saddest part of all of this is that people who say yes to everything are usually just trying to help. Say yes now, deal with the fallout later.

How about finding a way to say ‘no’ with courage, clarity and compassion so that we can free a ‘yes’ for what brings life and possibility to ourselves and others?