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Brave: 50 Everyday Acts of Courage to Thrive in Work, Love and Life by Margie Warrell

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—Chapter 13—

I f you're like me (and a few million other people who like to please others), you've probably kicked yourself numerous times after saying yes to something you didn't really want to do. Or maybe you genuinely did want to do it, but you already had too much on your plate to take on one more thing. The word ‘no' may be just one tiny, little, monosyllabic, two-letter word, yet it's one so many people have such a hard time saying. ‘Yes' is so much easier!

The term ‘people pleaser' was coined to describe the pressure and pull many of us feel to say yes and make commitments that push other priorities and values down the list. The truth is that saying no is harder than saying yes. People want you to say yes and so when you do, you get an immediate hit of people-pleasing gratification. Saying no, on the other hand, puts you at risk of causing disappointment, hurting feelings or falling out with the pack. It's why yes rolls quickly off the tongue before our brains have kicked fully into gear.

Of course, saying yes to life's diverse array of opportunities and adventures can also be an act of courage. But having the capacity to do so requires knowing when we need to say no instead. Sometimes, in our efforts to be all things to all people, we wind up stressed out, burnt out, breaking promises and too exhausted to say yes to the things we care about most. We're simply too over-committed ...

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