For years I was a “yes” person.
If someone made a request of me, I’d say yes without hesitation.
But it got me into all sorts of trouble.
Not huge trouble.
Just the “why did I say yes, I don’t really want to do it” kind.
The kind that put someone else’s need before my own.
The kind that made me resentful and angry.
Like they should have known better than to ask me in the first place.
When really it was me that should have known better.
Me that should have checked in with myself first.
To find out if saying yes felt right for me.
And met MY needs.
Because saying “no” is always an option.
It took me a long time to understand this though.
I hadn’t been taught to say no, especially to those in power.
I hadn’t been taught to even know what my own needs were.
Let alone that it was ok to meet them.
I’d learned to put others needs before my own.
And even if/when I did know what I wanted or needed, saying no to someone’s request seemed too scary for me.
I didn’t want to disappoint people.
Or let them down.
Or heaven forbid, be called “selfish.”
But all that changed during my divorce 15+ years ago.
When my therapist taught me that by saying yes to others, when I really meant no, I was letting myself down.
She taught me that it was ok – essential in fact – to have my own back.
To meet my own needs.
She taught me to set good boundaries.
And to say no when it didn’t feel right for me.
With time and practice I got better at knowing what did and didn’t work for me.
And I got much better at saying no.
But occasionally I would still say yes to requests in the moment.
Only to realize later I should have said no.
In the middle of one of those times my good friend said: “you know you have the right to change your mind Kerry?”
It was a huge light bulb moment for me.
I have the right to change my mind!
We ALL do.
Even when you say yes initially, you can later turn around and say no.
Sometimes you get new information, or things change for you.
Or you arrive at a different decision after processing how you really feel.
And that’s ok.
That’s your right.
The most important thing is to honour yourelf.
And to honour your truth.
To have your own back.
And to trust that others can and will take care of themselves.
Or they can find someone else to meet their need.
That’s not your job.
Because the people that truly care about you will respect your honesty.
And your boundaries.
But even if they don’t (because people may still try and steamroll over you to get their own need met) it’s up to YOU to honour your own truth.
It’s up to you to honour your own boundaries.
It’s only when you do, that you give the world the best — most authentic — version of you.
And you role model for others that it’s ok for them to honour themselves as well.
And that’s win-win for everyone.
So remember, you ALWAYS have the right to change your mind.
No matter what.
P.S. here’s a link to my YouTube video: You have a right to change your mind