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The Power of “No”

Updated: Jan 31, 2020


In a world where we live with our calendars full of meetings and obligations, it's no wonder why we seem overwhelmed and exhausted. But, I want you to take a moment and think when was the last time you said no to an engagement? I bet it's been a minute.


It came to me one evening after work. I had to run a quick errand before heading home. I was definitely tired from the day so the last thing I wanted was to stand in a long line for a few groceries. Well, to my luck I got stuck in a slow moving line. However, that moment was quite insightful for me.


The woman in front of me had 2 kids who were quite rambunctious. I envied their energy levels honestly. The mother however, was clearly overwhelmed. She was talking on her phone, using her headphones, while scrolling through her emails and checking her calendar simultaneously, all the while trying to load her items on the convener belt, and trying tame her children. I couldn't make too much out from her conversation, but I did hear this one statement:


"Um, I mean I'm kind of booked that day with my kids engagements, but I guess....yeah put me down. I'll make it work".


It then hit me. Humans have a problem with saying this two letter word: no.




While on my own journey of self healing/awareness, I began to realize that my entire life, I have been a people pleaser. When I first realized this, I immediately tried to deny it. Why? Because, ironically I couldn’t stand people pleasers. I always felt that ”that” person was worth so much more than always following the orders of someone else. And that's when it hit me so hard, that I literally uttered the following phrase out loud, to myself, in my apartment:


“Oh my goodness......my entire life up until now has been the result of other people’s opinions!”


As far back as I can remember, I would always say yes. I said yes to what career path my family wanted, to what my friends told me about what was trendy or not, to how I was supposed to dress, and even as far down as to how I was supposed to “be” in a relationship. From my head down to my tippy toes, I have allowed my responses of "yes" dictate who I became.

It's clear that I had a fear, as many do, of saying no. In my head saying no meant I was letting others down, which brought on feelings of guilt, embarrassment, and doubt. Doing this over an extended period of time has a horrible affects on a person. The worst symptom I noticed from growing up like this was the lack of trust I had in myself. I didn’t trust myself enough that I could make my own decisions, and be happy with them.

I‘m happy to say I have conquered this fear of mine and I love making my own decisions. How did I do I come to this place of trust within myself? By saying this two letter word:


No.