…”stop giving 100% to something you don’t really want.” – Danielle Laporte
An ode to saying no
Of the 171,476 words in the English language, my favorite is a two-letter word that most people hear and use on a daily basis: no.
This otherwise simple word has significant power.
Imagine feeling spacious. Imagine feeling LIT UP by everything on your to-do list and in your calendar. Imagine only doing the things you really WANT to do.
That’s the power that ‘no’ gives us.
‘No’ is a boundary. ‘No’ gives us agency over our decisions. ‘No’ helps us reclaim our power. ‘No’ frees us up for ‘Yes’
Saying No Sets Boundaries
Far too many people say yes to appease the desires of others. I am one of those people.
I have said yes to countless social invitations that I wasn’t feeling because I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Instead of preserving my energy and honoring my body’s own needs, I put the wishes of someone else above my own. Now, that’s not very loving, is it?
I have said yes to projects that I didn’t have time for – or that didn’t light me up. And well, shit, surprise surprise – I wasn’t able to do my best AND I felt burnt at both ends.
You don’t serve anyone this way.
Saying No Gives Us Agency Over Our Own Decisions
Deep inside of me lives an annoying, squirrely, little over-achiever. She wants to give 110 percent, excel at everything she does, make everyone around her happy, not let anyone down, and shoot for the next biggest goal. Sometimes she’s my biggest asset. And sometimes she’s downright annoying. She’s effective as hell but she has a GIGANTIC ego. Oh, and she’s a co-dependent people pleaser.
Can you relate?
If you’re nodding you’re head, then saying ‘no’ probably makes you feel a little uncomfortable. It’s probably slightly anxiety producing.
But realize that this people-pleasing, squirrely, ambitious part of ourselves is handing our decision-making responsibility to other people.
Before saying ‘yes’ to something you don’t really want to do, ask yourself these questions:
- Does this feel like progress?
- Does this feel light or heavy?
- Will doing this make me feel freer?
- Does this light me up (even if it means hard work)?
- Does this feel in integrity?
- Will doing this create more opportunities for me?
- How does this feel in my gut?
- Will doing this divert my attention from more important things?
Check in with your body. It will help guide the way.
If something feels out of alignment, you gotta say no. Even if it makes your voice quake. Saying ‘no’ gives us agency over our own decision-making.
Remember: your decisions are yours.
Saying No Helps Us Reclaim Our Power
You are the boss of you. Not someone else. Not that squirrely, over-achieving voice inside of you that’s conditioned toward people-pleasing.
What if you spent as much time honoring YOU as you did honoring everyone else?
That’d be pretty powerful, right?
Saying No Frees Us Up For Yes
On the other side of ‘no’ is the land of FUCK YES.
Saying ‘no’ to something that isn’t right for you gives you the space to call in the things you DO want.
Imagine getting your dream opportunity but not having time to pursue it because you don’t have time for it. Because you said yes to something WAY less appealing. What a buzzkill, right?
You deserve to live in the land of FUCK YES.
So say ‘no’ to the things that don’t serve you. Each and every no will get you closer to where you want to be.