Week 3 Days

Treat Yourself to a Day of No | Day 18

What if “no” was a complete sentence?   

I got the question above from Oprah. Smart woman! Being someone who used to justify my boundaries with explanations, I’ve since learned that it’s okay to stand up for myself by saying no. Sometimes, I even shout NO from the rooftops! I’ve gotten so good at it that I don’t even need to compensate with a “maybe next time” or come up with some elaborate reason that’ll help me or the other person feel better about themselves.

Now, this might sound simple, but it isn’t. After all, many of us tend to be ruled by guilt or the desire to people-please, even if that means letting the takers leave their footprints all over our backs. But when we create better boundaries, we become kinder, more compassionate people. This is because others always know where they stand with us. Instead of saying yes to things we don’t want to do, which ends up making us bitter or resentful, we let honesty be our compass. This makes for better communication and more authentic, open relationships with ourselves and others.

Activity

Just for today, give the people and situations in your life your whole-hearted NO. This doesn’t mean that you have to say no to everyone and everything—only the stuff that your heart is giving you a solid no about. Now, there might be times when you’re a maybe or completely neutral. Just for the sake of experimentation, take such moments as no’s. In this case, if it’s not a “hell yes,” it’s a “hell no.” If you don’t feel like cooking dinner tonight or talking to the friend who eats up your time with all the details of her current drama, simply say no. Practice trusting your gut and, even more importantly, not offering any additional explanations or reasons, even when it feels edgy. And make sure you do this no with no guilt whatsoever! This is your one life, and you deserve to do with it what you please.

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