Saying no.

Most people feel bad saying it.
Most people don’t know how to do it.
Most people think saying yes to everything opens the door to every good thing.

No. No. And no.

Most people feel bad saying it.
For some reason our default position is guilt. We want to please our friends, family, colleagues. We don’t want to disappoint them. Turning them down means you’ll be judged. You’ll upset someone. Maybe even cause them to not like you anymore. The mere thought of saying no can stir up anxiety and even fear.

Most people don’t know how to do it.
You’d think such a short word would be easy to form and utter. But saying no is a habit that needs to be built. And it takes practice. It took you a long time to ingrain the habit of saying yes to everyone and everything, but breaking the habit can set you free.

Most people think saying yes to everything opens the door to every good thing.
No. Not all opportunities that come to you should be met with a yes—even if they’re good opportunities. This produces stress—the overwhelming onslaught of everything you try to accomplish simply because it was presented to you. Too much of anything will not create a good atmosphere for you to thrive in.

NO. All of this yessing stems from a basic underlying belief that you are not worthy enough to value your own time and what’s truly important to you.

YES, your goals, thoughts, plans and purpose are important and you are the only one who can protect your priorities. Your obligation is to yourself first. It’s kind of like the notion that to save other people on a plane that’s going to crash, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got oxygen first.

How to make “No” your friend.

• Pick and choose the opportunities that line up with your goals. Let go of those things that do not. They may even sound good but if you choose many good things, you’ll be running on fumes trying to do it all, and you’ll do nothing well.
• Take time to think, meditate, pray or get counsel about decisions before you instantly make them. You’ll find that this time to quiet yourself allows you to make better decisions that you’ll feel confident about.
• Practice saying no. For one week, say no to everything (within reason). See how it feels. You’ll start to feel empowered.
• Let go of guilt. You will never be happy if you worry about what others think of you and your decisions. You get to be as happy as you want to be. Choose to leave guilt behind. It’s useless.
• You don’t need to give a long story to explain your no. A simple, “No, thank you,” or “No, I am going to have to pass on that right now,” are really all you need to say. Find out how freeing this is, to not constantly explain yourself. Then walk away.
• If you feel unsure or have any unsettling feeling about a decision, say no. Your intuition is an excellent barometer for when to say yes or no. Likewise, peace is a good confirmation that you can say yes.

It’s your life! Say no to it! And say yes to peace and happiness!

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