No. It’s a word that I used to use rigidly once upon a time. Once I got present to that, I realized that had to change. In order to expand my horizons, I decided to swing the opposite direction to ‘yes.’ Thinking that was the answer, I went for it, all in. Have you ever seen the movie ‘Yes Man,’ with Jim Carrey? We watch as Jim Carrey’s character starts saying “yes” to everything. His life changes immediately and he’s having all kinds of experiences he could have never imagined, but it doesn’t quite turn out how he expects. That character’s story was much like mine and the movie definitely made laugh and realize that saying yes too much or no too much wasn’t good for anyone, especially me. Balance and harmony are epic.
Navigating “no” powerfully has been a challenge for me. Sometimes I get a little too caught up in the good girl mode of saying yes without thinking and not enforcing a boundary. Maybe I don’t want to ruffle feathers or miss out on something or I feel obligated in some way. One of two things happen when I launch into these behaviors, I run out of steam or my schedule gets overloaded, or both. This happened to me recently. As I lay, stuck in bed, with hardly any voice, my throat on fire, and a weight on my chest so heavy it felt like a gargantuan elephant was sitting on me, it dawned on me that this could have all been prevented had I been better about my no.
No is a boundary. As Annie Lamott says: “No is a complete sentence.” I realized that because I wasn’t putting in enough boundaries, I was spread thin which wasn’t doing me or anyone I worked with any good because I wasn’t able to put forth my best efforts. I’m a natural born talker, so when my ability to chat away was taken away, things got serious real quick. I paid attention. The Universe put me in time out and it was time to really listen. And listen I did.
These three points below are the result of a quickly learned lesson on the power of no. Using these effectively are key to helping and supporting you to get to your next uplevel.
1. Say no with conviction.
No, this doesn’t mean to be stern or brusque in the way you say or deliver your no. This is conviction within yourself. This is a firm no that you are committed to keeping for your health, your well-being or that of another. As an entrepreneur, saying no is vital to the success of me and my business. I’ve had to turn down opportunities, reschedule meetings, and cancel out on social calls in order to have the down time I need to offer the very best me to the world. So, ask yourself, where are you being wishy-washy with your no? Wishy-washy no’s won’t stand the test of time. They wash away with the tide. And when you’re navigating the oceans of your new uplevel world, you need seawalls. You need jetties that will support you in your expansion. That’s the power of no with conviction.
2. Say no with love.
Not just to others, but for yourself. No can be a gift. You may really want to hop on a call with your gal pal, but you’ve had a long day, you’re a bit crispy, and all you really want to do is chill and watch Netflix. To stay in integrity to you (and your friend, (BTW she will understand and if she doesn’t, that’s a whole different story), you say no to the call. Reschedule it. Take time to decompress. I can guarantee if you push through your own no and hop on that call, you may not be present for her or for you and you may feel resentful when all is said and done. Stay true to yourself and love your no. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable and that’s ok. Our culture in many ways has us feeling obligated to participate with people, places, things, events, but this is not saying no with love. This is saying no out of need and obligation and that doesn’t serve anyone. That’s the power of no with love.
3. Say no without guilt.
This piggy backs to the last point about obligation. How often do we say yes out of obligation instead of out of true, heart-felt desire? Sometimes saying no can make us feel guilty. I get that. I’ve been there myself. However, saying yes out of obligation can leave us feeling burdened, uninterested, and tethered rather than free, open, and engaged. This is where no works in our favor. We get to make a solid choice so our yes becomes more refined from the point of desire and our no becomes more solid from the point of self-love. We’re making choices that are coming from presence and heart-felt intention rather than reaction. That’s the power of no without guilt.
There’s one last point I want to mention that figures into the no’s above and those yes’s with intention—it’s fear. Sometimes fear will push us to turn our yes into a no and our no into a yes. This is where our inner guidance system is required to assist us in navigating the territory. There are so many ways to tap into your intuition and make it work for you—there are some great resources here on One Wise Life! A quick way to determine the conviction of your yes or no and its correlation to fear is tapping into how it makes you feel. Does it make you feel expansive? That’s great! Chances are it’s in alignment to you: green light. Does it make you feel contracted or possibly shrinking down? You may want to look at that a little deeper. Fear may be motivating you. As we explore the use of these tools, this can help us with our no’s. So, today, take a look at what you’re saying yes to and what you’re saying no to. Know that it’s perfectly ok to say no. To stand in your full power unapologetically and say no with conviction, no with love, and no without guilt.
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Jessica Nevins is the Success Stylist, a Transformational Success & Mindset and Manifestation Coach for Entrepreneurs, founder of The Uplevel Daily, a Motivational Speaker and Author passionate about success, uplevels, mindset, manifestation, business, and heart-centered living. She uses over a decade of leadership, coaching, personal development, teaching, branding, business management and training paired with her unique teachings to illuminate the path for to uplevel your mindset, life, and business, cultivate transformation and reach true abundance. Get your FREE Daily Abundance Tool HERE