Last summer I did a series of posts on Simplicity and the importance of learning to live a life in alignment with your purpose, not someone else’s. The posts that received the most attention were the ones I wrote on learning to say no. So this month, I’m reposting them in the hopes that we all learn to eliminate the unnecessary from our lives
repost June 19, 2014 Finding Your Yes (Before You Say No)
So how are you doing so far? Have you found a way to say no and make it stick?
I believe it’s especially hard for women that have been raised to be “nice” to learn to put themselves first. When I’ve broached this subject with clients they often say, “I don’t feel comfortable saying no to a friend. Isn’t it the height of selfishness to say no?”
My answer to them is this: “Before you say no, find your yes.” Every opportunity is a choice; saying no to one thing allows you to say yes to something else − something that you’d prefer to do or something more important to you in the long run.
But first you have to know what your priorities are. If you’ve done a Statement of Being, you are halfway there. If not, then here’s an exercise to help you set those priorities in place.
Close your eyes and imagine that you had a magic wand allowing you to add 5 hours to every day.
How would you fill those five hours?
You might choose to spend some of that extra time playing with your kids or talking with the people closest to you. Maybe you would take an art class or find time to do tai chi or yoga. Maybe you would take a walk every morning in the park or sit down with your favorite cup of tea and a good book in the evenings.
Or maybe you would spend this extra time asleep! We are a sleep-deprived society and I believe a majority of these tired-to-the-core individuals are women, especially those that can’t say no.
However you’ve chosen to spend these imaginary five hours, they are your “yesses” – your priorities –the things you are missing out on right now.
As we simplify our lives, these are the activities that we want to add to our day– and until those imaginary five extra hours actually appear – we will have to make hard choices – often.
So write them down. Keep your priority list in the forefront of your mind. Validate that you are in choice every moment of every day.
Before you are caught saying yes when you really want to say no, pause and think of your priorities. Give yourself permission to say no with clarity and grace. You don’t have to explain, you just have to open your mouth and utter the one word, “No”. That’s all. You can do it gently and with a smile, knowing that you are actually saying yes to simplicity and living life the way you want to live it.
“In the end only three things matter – how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” ~Buddha
What have you let go of?