I deal with some pretty demanding clients. They want the best appointment time that works for them and their schedule and don't really care if I have other clients. They want you when they want you and are pissed if you are not available. I just LOVE those last minute clients that call me the same day begging me to drop what I'm doing to come beautify them (I am a professional makeup artist and hair stylist and apparantly at people's beck and call.) It's just my favorite thing to hear, "hey I need you today." Of course this is dripping with sarcasm and an eye roll. Some days I want to hit my head against a brick wall.
Recently I've had some pretty frustrating situations that honestly leave me wanting to quit my business all together. Yes, as in in NOT DO IT ANYMORE. As in, "I dont care if you need eyelashes today!" But I realized quitting isn't really my style. I am not a quitter, I am just bad as saying NO! And saying it without guilt or condemnation or feeling horrible about it. I am the problem, not them. Because let's face it....we all want what is best for ourselves. I also want the best appointment or reservation time that works best for my schedule. Duh.
I am done with NOT saying NO! I think that is a double negative, but I only passed with my English degree with C's so I don't know...
But I have realized a few things. 1. There is an ART FORM to saying NO. This has been made perfectly clear to me. My sister is really good at saying NO to people, but saying it in the most polite, respectful manner. I have much to learn from her. I want to say NO with kindness and logic, and shrug my shoulders if someone else is mad about it. 2. It's my fault if I don't say NO, and there are pretty steep consequences when I give in when I don't want to.
I have come a long way, there was a time that I NEVER said the word NO to clients. Like ever. And it cost me. I ran myself haggard. I was a screaming, stressed out mom to my kids--putting them second to my clients. I wasn't enjoying my work, I was surviving it. And that is not the makeup artist or stylist or mom and wife that I want to be. I know who I want to be....The word NO helps me to be that person. When I think of the big picture, in it is the best version of myself. I'm living in my purpose, one that is not driven by money, notoriety or more clients. When I am living in my purpose I am driven by giving to others and loving on others with my skills. And the only way I can achieve that is if I'm living in balance.
The word NO helps me to maintain that balance and is actually a gift to the person I am saying NO to. NO is a gift!! Instead of thinking about it like I'm disappointing someone and letting them down, I actually think of it the reverse way. My NO gives someone a better option that my half hearted yes. I don't want to give people a half effort or an effort that is backed at resentment. My NO is not only helpful to me, but it is helpful to that person. It also helps me to to say YES to things I really believe in and want to do.
So how do we get to a place where we lay down guilt and shame with our NO's? It is knowing, and I mean KNOWING, what kind of life you want, and what kind of person you want to be. Those two things are vital to making your NO's easier to say and stick to. When you know who you don't want to be, saying NO is a lot easier. It takes practice and maybe even some counseling, but I am getting there--slowly and surely, but nonetheless starting to feel ok saying NO.