The power of No

Welcoming its power and possibilities.

Saying no is one of the hardest things for women to speak. Most of us grew up conditioned to believe that to love someone means always saying yes and being willing to do anything for them as if love=I will do anything for you. Not only do we grow up thinking that to show our love, we need to do everything that is asked of us, but we also believe that those who love us should do anything for us.

We love and do everything for those we love, or we love and feel the pressure of showing our love through the things we’re willing to do.

We live in a world that fears saying and hearing the word, No.

The most common rebuttal I hear when encouraging people to say no more often is, “But I love my kids/spouse/mother/career!” Again, this idea that saying No is the most terrible thing to say needs to change. Instead of focusing on what you’re losing, focus on what you’re gaining by saying no. Think of moments when life told you “No.” Life closed a door but opened a window. And that window ended up being pretty friggen great. Think about when life didn’t give you what you wanted when you wanted it. Remember the growth you experienced from the days/weeks/months that followed. Don’t deprive yourself and your loved one of the possibilities that come after the word, No.

Here are three reasons why saying No more often is the most loving thing you can do for yourself and others:

  1. It frees up time and energy to do things that bring you joy and help your growth.
    When you are running around doing things for everyone (something they are capable of doing for themselves or learning to do for themselves), when do you have time for things/activities that refuel you? You so incredibly deserving of being #1 on your priority list. In fact, you need to be. Saying no to others means saying yes to yourself. Take the time to get to know yourself better! Pick a hobby, join a club, meditate, and spend time in Nature. You are your truest, longest relationship. Give it the time, love and attention it deserves.
  2. Empowerment
    Always saying yes disempowers you and the other person. It keeps both of you stuck because it keeps you dependent on each other. By saying no in an empowering way, you’re encouraging the other person to be resourceful and independent. Saying no doesn’t have to be harsh. There are loving and empowering ways to say no. For example, “Daughter, you are an incredible young woman. Look at how you managed to find your first part-time job! You are so mature and wise! I know you can learn how to do laundry. Let me know when you have time for me to teach you so that you can start doing your own laundry.” The more you infuse your relationships with empowering declarations (for no reason other than telling them how much you admire them), the easier it will be for you to say- and for them to hear- no.
  3. Trust
    When you say no in an empowering way, you encourage your loved ones to look within. When they hear you call them wise and resilient, they view themselves that way more and more. They will seek wisdom and approval internally instead of externally. When we say no, we tell the person that we trust them to figure it out and that they should trust themselves. You’re helping them strengthen that connection they have to themselves. When that connection is strong, they will learn to listen to their Intuition over external voices every time. I can’t imagine a more beautiful thing.

Saying No can be uncomfortable for many women. If you grew up learning to be kind/compliant instead of honest, then saying No can be a scary practice to start incorporating. But love is not fear. Love is honest. So if you want to say no, say no. And if you don’t want to say no because “I love doing things for people I love!” then I still encourage you to say no sometimes. Because saying no to others means saying yes to yourself. And like I said, that is the most important relationship you’ll ever have.

Let’s release the idea that No is only negative and embrace its power and possibilities instead.

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