No is the smallest word in the English language that comprises a whole sentence in itself. Sounds pretty powerful, no?
You may ask why? What kind of power are we referring? The answer is simple yet one of the most complex frameworks of human existence. Saying no gives us the power to make a choice, and the ability to make our own choices is what makes us feel in control of our destiny, leading to a self-aware and fulfilling life. It enables us to identify our priorities, our strengths and weaknesses, and our motivations behind any action that we take.
Human beings are social creatures, we crave the feeling of belonging, whether it be to a community, our families, our social and professional networks, and in modern times our digital networks. We have been brought up with the notion that saying yes is a sign of affirmation and positivity and leads to inclusion, whereas saying no is a sign of dissent and negativity thereby breeding exclusion. The fact of the matter is, every time we say not to something, we are further defining our individuality. And in this world of 8 billion people, every person has the scope to find a place where they can feel like they belong.
It has taken centuries for women to be recognized as peers in the workforce, but at what cost has that feat been achieved? Work extra hours? Yes. Work for a lower salary? Yes. Be passed over for a promotion but continue to perform at your optimal? Yes... and the list goes on. Women have long proven that they are equal, if not superior, and up to par to perform any task that their male counterparts could. It has been ingrained into women that they are peacekeepers, people-pleasers, and emotional balancers. It is time to break out of this patriarchal school of thought and command and respect the opportunities that you have earned.
Say no to the inability to make your own decisions, say no to thankless tasks, say no to serve unless it serves your higher purpose, and unleash the power you have within with the simple act of saying NO.