The Power of No - a Practice for the Yes Person

What is your relationship with the word No?


No can be viewed as defiant. No can be seen as being contrarian or disagreeable. Some people struggle to say no. Some people say no very easily.

The power of no creates space to determine what your intuitive self is communicating to you. No creates space in your body, and allows your nervous system to relax. No gives you the opportunity to tune in to yourself, it creates a boundary so that you can question what is going on inside you.

Yes Person

I used to be a Yes person. I considered myself ‘easy going’ and ‘go with the flow’. Do you relate with that? I learned this way of being from the family I grew up in, my teachers, my experiences with friends, what I watched on TV or movies. I found myself in jobs, relationships and starting businesses that I didn't want to be in because I said Yes so much. This was a compulsion, a response that I didn't think about. And deep down I was afraid what would happen if I said no.

FOMO

Your mind creates stories of what will happen if you say No. FOMO, am I right?


You say yes because, WHAT IF? You tell yourself all these awful stories of what’s going to happen if you say no. Can you relate to any of these:

If I don’t go to that party, I may not meet the person of my dreams.

If I say no to dinner with friends, they may not like me anymore.

If I say no to a request from my boss, I may get fired.

If I say no to a posture in a yoga class or a workout class, I may be seen as lazy.

What if?

What if saying no to your bosses request means you will have more space in your day to focus on what matters?


What if saying to a request in a movement class means you are respecting your body and your energy levels?


What if saying no to the party means you are opening to the possibility of something else you want to do?


What if saying no to dinner with friends means you will be able to care for yourself because your body is giving you a subtle cue that it’s getting worn out and it needs to rest.

No

So right now, I invite you to say the word No. Out loud. Right where you are.


What is it like to say No? What do you notice in your body? My guess is that it may feel a little uncomfortable. This is because it may be unfamiliar to you. No creates space. It creates room. A space or a boundary around you. When you say no you allow yourself space to feel what is right for you, especially if the Yes, isn't an instinctual in the moment knowing Yes.

Consider where in your life could you say No. What could you say No to?


I just said No to social media by deleting the apps off my phone. They were becoming distracting and keeping me addicted to them and their incessant bombardment of information. At first my mind was terrified of what I may miss out on. Now I notice so much more space in my day and a new calmness in my body.

Your mind will want to create reasons to convince you all the reasons you need to say Yes. All the people you may disappoint, the ripples you may create in your family, the difficulty it may create in your relationship. And saying No may, initially, not feel great. It may feel very uncomfortable because your mind is going to begin to tell you all the stories about what it fears is going to happen.

Creative No's

Come up with creative ways to say No. The purpose of No is to create space for yourself. To choose what’s right for you. You could say:

  • “I’ll get back to you tomorrow.”

  • “I need some time to consider your question.”

  • “I’ve got to feel this out for myself and I’ll let you know.”

  • “At this moment, I’m not sure, I’ll let you know as soon as I am”


Practice:
  • say No out loud to yourself.

  • say No in the mirror.

  • notice how No feels in your body.

  • write down all the fears the mind tells your about what will happen if you say No.

  • consider places in your life where you can put up a No boundary.

  • create other ways to say No, if you’re not sure or it’s too uncomfortable, that can give you space to tune into yourself.