Making an autonomous decision to say “No thank you, it’s not for me” is an act of strength, not to be mistaken as an act or position of weakness.
For practically my entire existence on this earth I have struggled with this concept; and it is only today that I have truly come to realise and understand this basic philosophy. However, I have not come to this awareness by myself, but rather through the mature insight and heightened self-awareness of a very close family member junior to me.
As previously mentioned, this somewhat “epiphany” arose from a conversation with a family member who is a young University student embarking on several work placements. This very same student, who is driven by their fervent enthusiasm in their field of study, recognises the importance of not only receiving informed academic training in conjunction with valuable work experience, but equates impressing and pleasing others as the key to gaining positive work references and therefore better long term career prospects. At a recent work placement they felt particularly uncomfortable and out of place, but they were initially too afraid of communicating, to their employer, how they truly felt in fear that this would jeopardise their chances of future career “success”. In my experience as a young person myself this example of catastrophising is all but too common and is a negative habit to engage in; and we assume that if we do not demonstrate our ability to replicate the thinking and behaviour of others at the expense of our own beliefs and emotions, we will not be accepted or liked and therefore we are wrong. We believe that these so called “wrong doings” or “mistakes” will tarnish not only our short term reputation but those that proceed us in the long term.
But today, instead of submitting themselves to unnecessary prolonged discomfort and unhappiness for the sake of a glowing reference from a highly reputed institution, they made a very wise and admirable decision to say, “Thank you for this opportunity, but I’m sorry it’s just not working out for me.” Something I have struggled to do for so long.
Now who knows what lies ahead for them for the remainder of their working life, I am sure many more great work opportunities will present themselves, but in addition to their strength of character and mindfulness of self, I am sure they are to succeed in living a much more fulfilling and happier life.
So instead of saying:
I must I must,
I should I should,
Will surely do me the world of good,
For it shall stand me in good stead,
To ensure that I remain ahead.
How about saying: