The Power of No

I am current listening to an audio self-help book (my phone connects to my car and I like listening to self-help books during my drives as the ones I pick are motivational to me). Right now, it is talking about the freeing power of saying no. It got me thinking. How many of us are afraid to say no? And are we afraid to say no or are we afraid of others’ reactions?

When I talk to numerous client’s about this, most say it’s the reactions they fear more than the doing. How true is this? I can tell you that every time I hesitate to say no, it is because I’m afraid of the person’s reaction. I’m afraid that they are going to get mad or that I’m going to disappoint them. However, this goes back to when I talked about being selfish (read that post here). It’s ok to say no to people. If we don’t, we will burn out easily. Not only that, but we will find ourselves moving so fast that we can’t keep up with everything.

Saying no has power. 

You read that right. It has power. It frees up your time. It frees up your mind. It keeps you within your limits and others within theirs. No is one of the most POWERFUL words there is. In this day and time, we are so used to always saying yes, always moving forward, always doing something. What about time to rest? Time to calm down? Time to think or be personally creative? When we constantly say yes to everyone else….We say no to ourselves. When did that become ok?

When did it become ok to not take care of ourselves? When did it become acceptable to forfeit all quiet time for other people?

Personally, it started once I got this job as a counselor. I started giving of myself to the clients consistently and failed to replenish because that would take time. And I only have nine months with these girls so any time taken to replenish takes away from that nine months. The thinking is a cycle. Soon, I found myself swirling lost and empty. I found I had nothing left to give. And I’m still picking myself up from that empty place. I’m nowhere close to even an eighth of the way full yet. I’m learning how to say no, how to speak up for what I need, and how to do what I need to do to reinvent myself and fill myself.

The book I’m listening to currently is Present over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic For A Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist. This is the one I’m learning all about no in. I’m learning to as she says, “recreate myself from the inside out”. It is a very slow process requiring a whole lot of help from others including these self-help books.

Before this one, I listened to Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. This one was just as amazing as I am finding Shauna Niequist’s book. It motivated me to get moving on my dreams and to stop believing common lies about myself that are most definitely not true. This was the book that awakened in me my love to listen to self-help motivational stuff while driving.

Different things work for different people. What are you doing to improve? What are you doing to learn how to say no? What is your struggle with the word no?

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