The Beauty of No

I tend to be a “yes” person.  Not in the sense that I’m a pushover, but more in the sense that I see limitless possibilities in everything! Therefore, in my mind, a life full of “yeses” means a light full of possibilities, right?


There is definitely such a thing as too many “yeses”.   

The older, and hopefully wiser, I become, the more I relish my new-found skill of saying no.  Not a harsh, unkind, or aggressive “no”, but rather a, “No thank you, this doesn’t work for me at this time.”

There is so much freedom in that.

No thank you, this doesn’t work for me at this time. 

There is no door slam, no burned bridge, no sense of “never”.  It simply means that I’m weighing what I want and need and am responsible for, and this does not fit into it.  At least not right now.

When I was a kid, we loved a board game called Don’t Spill the Beans.  It was a big pot, precariously balanced, and each player would add a certain number of beans to the pot.  You tried to avoid being the one that made the pot of beans spill.

Wow, Life can so be like that childhood game!  We think we can fit one more thing, one more responsibility, one more favor, one more hobby, one more email or text…..until we find ourselves tipping and spilling and making a mess. 

I believe women, and even more-so mothers, tend to be over-yesers.  We try so hard to be so much to so many.  We love our people fiercely, and don’t want anyone to be let down or to have less than everything we wish for them.  And sometimes we sacrifice ourselves in the process.

But what if all those yesses we give everyone only water down our efforts and actions to the point of not truly giving much of anything to anyone?  There truly is such a thing as too much.

So the question becomes, how to we get to the beauty and space of “no”?

It’s a fairly simple process, but it does take some quiet time to really think through.

Take a good hard look at your life.  What matters most right now?  What are you trying to create, nurture, tend to in your life?

Then, ask yourself:

 Does what is being presented to you bring you closer towards or move you further away from those goals?

If we don’t keep first things first, then inevitably first things become last. 

A well-placed “yes” will enrich, and a guilt-given “yes” will detract.

A thoughtful, “No thank you, not at this time” is typically followed by a sense of relief and expansion. You know that feeling when it happens. There is no second-guessing.

Having a clear vision of what matters most, and only saying yes to those requests and opportunities that help solidify that vision, will help you stay on track, keep your energy for what matters most, and enjoy a deeper, more purposeful life.

Here’s to your next well-placed, “No” and the beauty that will follow!

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