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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Trattner

There's Power in the Word 'No'

Our twenties can take multiple paths: go to grad school, start a job, find a serious relationship (or not,) move back in with our parents or find a place for just ourselves. For months, I've been trying to figure out the next step in my own journey, and I was so sure that would be finding a full-time job. This meant applying to multiple jobs per day, crafting cover letter after cover letter, and reworking my resume almost weekly.

After five months of applying for jobs, I started to lose hope and doubted myself thinking, "am I ever going to find a job?" I wasn't expecting a job offer for something completely unexpected to nearly fall through the ceiling. But when it did, I was faced with the question, is this job for me? Is it the right opportunity? Should I take it? In my heart, I knew it wasn't right, but I felt gutted since I'd been applying for so many months; I thought the only logical answer was to say "yes."

But what do you do when saying "yes" doesn't feel right?

Here's the thing, saying no isn't always fun, and sometimes it can feel as though you are letting someone down. Before saying no to the job offer, I was plagued with horrible anxiety, as if I was disappointing myself for not taking a job I rightfully earned, disappointing the company and members who took time interviewing me, and disappointing my parents for "failing" to take the next step in my life.

There is power in having a choice, power in saying no. Our choices and decisions shape who we are, and our twenties are such a defining time made through both the yes's and no's throughout this decade. We are allowed to go with our gut if something doesn't feel right. It could be a job like it was in my case, an apartment, or possibly a relationship. But when you have the ability to make a choice, you take your power back! I kept thinking about the job as a relationship or apartment. Would I say yes to dating someone I knew was completely wrong for me just because dating is the "adult" thing to do?

I did not forget how lucky and privileged I am since I had the option to say no, to have a safety net. Not everyone has the choice to say no, but I did, and I needed to honor that.

On our podcast, we've had guests advise listeners to say yes to everything. But what if these choices don't feel aligned with who we are? What if we feel saying yes is the wrong choice? Do we honor these gut instincts, or do we mindlessly jump in blind, hoping everything will be okay?

Trusting our gut and listening to our intuition help us recognize what we feel when the right opportunity presents itself.

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