The Practice of NO


Ever notice how Italians say “No” with attitude?

It’s a big, decisive, full-bodied NO.

Curl your tongue to form a strong N.

Follow with a short punchy O.

Learning to say no with this kind of surety is the best way to say good-bye to overwhelm and resentment.

Because here’s the thing you’ve been avoiding. . .

How did you get to this point?

It’s not tough to figure out. I’ll bet you said yes quickly and without much thought. Yeah, I know. I’ve done it too.

You’re probably inundated every day. Requests, favours, tasks and a never-ending to-do list. It’s so damn easy to get caught up in saying yes.

(Which frequently sounds like, “sure, no problem, yup, any time” said with a weary smile on your face.)

I used to be a yes gal – an automatic “let me help you with your project/job search/relationship/fill-in-the-blank” frickin’ YES!

I admit it.

I love helping others, I’m easily inspired, and YES felt pretty damn good!

Until it didn’t.

Until the day I realized that every yes to someone or something else was a NO to myself.

No to my self-care.

No to my peace of mind.

No to the growth of my business.

No to a good night’s sleep, for starters.

All those NO’s to myself because I couldn’t say NO to others.

“When you say “yes” to others, make sure you are not saying “no” to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho

I got to a point when I realized how much meaning I gave to NO.

But NO doesn’t mean what you think it means.

It doesn’t mean you’re bad, wrong or inconsiderate.

It doesn’t mean you don’t care for others.

It doesn’t mean you’re selfish.

It’s just NO.

Say it with me in Italian – “Nnnnnnnn-O.”

Feel those two lovely letters N O rolling around in your mouth.

Now listen because I’m going to say something I really want you to hear. . .

You can be trusted to say NO. 

And every time you do…a YES to yourself expands.

Your well-being flourishes.

Your inner knowing is rewarded.

Your heart beats in appreciation.

Saying YES to yourself makes you available elsewhere. It’s time to use your NO for that kind of soul expanding goodness!

Whatever you do, do it from a clean state. There’s really no point in getting this far only to beat yourself up again for this new choice you’re making.

And just for the record?

Angst and regret  have no place in your life, so go ahead and say NO to them too!

“There are only two words that will always lead you to success. Those words are yes and no. Undoubtedly, you’ve mastered saying yes. So start practicing saying no.” – Jack Canfield


Over to you:

  • Review what’s on your schedule.
  • Notice where you feel over-committed or resentful.
  • Check your boundaries, are they in tact?
  • What are you now willing to say NO to in order to say YES to yourself?