It's such a little word.
And yet, it's a very important one.
I don't think that I'm all that unusual in feeling as if I were raised with the belief that 'no' is a bad word. We are taught to always say yes with a big smile, no matter whether or not that particular question is good for us.
Say yes - so that people like you.
Say yes - so that you won't miss an opportunity.
Say yes - so that you will appear confident and capable.
Say yes - because it would be selfish to do otherwise.
Today I said no. In fact, I said no twice. No to a possible job opportunity that ultimately wasn't right for either my dreams or my family's goals, and no to a project that's been weighing on me for a while. I let myself speak truly from my heart - and not from my crazy/busy head - and the answer was a very calm, very definite no.
I feel quite liberated, and not a bit guilty. That's a big step for me.