Yes or no?

A few days ago, speaking about personalized T-shirts, my daughter Alicia told us that her ideal one would be black, plain, with a single word written in big white letters:

No.

I have to admit, it would suit her perfectly 🙂

Also, I´m delighted that she´s so self-confident at thirteen years of age. Because for me personally, it´s taken a considerable effort to learn to say no.

Does that ring a bell? Saying yes, to everything, maybe because of willingness to help others, not wanting to disappoint anyone, striving to be liked and thus feel loved and appreciated, or maybe because we think we´re indispensable… For these and many other reasons, we give away our time and energy to anyone who would ask. Sometimes, until we can no longer bear it.

But there´s one thing we need to realize: every time we say YES to something or someone, there is another something or someone that we´re saying NO to.

  • Who are you saying no to, when you forget to set limits and say yes to everything? yes?
  • How much time and energy are left for yourself (and the things that you choose) at the end of the day, the week, the month?
  • And how much space is left for you to grow, to enjoy, to welcome something new and unexpected in your life?

At this stage, you may have realized that you want to choose more consciously your yeses… but how can you start saying no no , in order to leave room for them?

One interesting perspective can be taking the word NO as an acronym:

NO = Next Opportunity

I love this idea because it has a double interpretation. On the one hand, when we´re asked for something that´s going to consume our time and energy, we can give ourselves permission to evaluate it and decide, and if in reality what we want is to leave space for something else that we value more, then we can respond in a kind, assertive and conscious way, secure in the knowledge of why we do it.

On the other hand, when we happen to be on the receiving end of that no, the acronym will help us to see that it´s not the end of the world and that there´s no need to take it personally. Because, if we want to set limits and get others to respect them, it´s only fair that we in turn respect the limits of others… And who knows, maybe that no turns out to be exactly what we need in order to wake up, learn something new, adjust, make progress, and end up finding an even better opportunity.

Would you dare put this into practice? I challenge you to say NO to something this week and see what happens!

By the way, that model of T-shirt does exist, it´s a good birthday present candidate 😉

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