How many times a day do you say no? Or better yet, how many different ways do you say no?
To your partner...
I’m not in the mood.
I don’t want to go out tonight.
I don’t have the time to fetch your dry cleaning.
I can’t make dinner tonight.
I don’t want to spend the evening with those friends.
You need to wear a smarter shirt.
To your kids...
I don’t have the time.
We can’t go to the park today.
You can’t eat that.
Go play somewhere else.
I can’t build lego with you, I have work to do.
You can’t watch that.
To your friends and family...
Sorry, I’m too busy to meet you for lunch.
I can’t come, I have work to do.
I know I promised but I’m not feeling well.
I don’t have any money to go out this weekend.
Sorry, I forgot.
Those rules don’t apply to me.
I didn’t vote for him so I don’t have to listen.
Beggars are such an inconvenience.
It’s not my problem.
It goes against my culture or faith.
I don’t see how this involves me.
To your boss or colleagues...
That’s not in my job description.
I can’t take that on, too busy with my own work.
I can’t give you a lift.
I’m not paid to do that
I’m not in the mood.
I don’t want to.
I’m too tired.
Tomorrow is another day.
I’m not ready, I’ll start next week.
Someone else is better.
With every one of those sentences you are becoming stuck and stagnant. ‘No’, ‘can’t’, ‘but’, ‘won’t’, ‘mustn’t’, ‘don’t’, ‘never’ and ‘shouldn’t’ are energy killing words. They stop any creative flow or growth from happening in your life. If you’re feeling uninspired, bored and unmotivated, it’s because you’re using too many energy killing statements in your life and you are saying ‘no’ to too many things. Maybe you’re using these statements to avoid people, places and experiences, but all that’s doing is creating distance between yourself and others which is adding to your feelings of isolation, loneliness and disconnect. Maybe you’re saying these things to control or manipulate a situation. Maybe you’re saying them because you’re just too lazy to find another way and you’d rather be comfortable.
If you know what every day of your life is going to look like for the next 7 days, then you are living a numb, predictable existence and you have slipped into that awful place of being comfortable. Sofas should be comfortable, not your life. Transformation doesn’t come from comfort, it comes from challenge, risk, spontaneity, saying ‘yes’, pushing past your fears and plunging into the unknown. Saying no all the time is keeping you numb and set on auto-pilot. Be careful of settling for a comfortable existence where you’ve hardly got a pulse and you are one ‘no’ away from flatlining.
Don’t resign yourself to a mediocre life and call it comfortable.
Saying no all the time is telling the universe that you're not interested in the gifts it is bringing into your life every day. The reality is that if you say no long enough and hard enough, people are going to stop asking, stop inviting, stop including you and stop being a part of your life. If you keep letting tiredness or work or money be an excuse for not participating, then people will stop expecting anything from you and write you off. Maybe that’s what you want though. Because when no-one has any expectations of you then you don’t have to show up. You can relax and switch off and live a comfortable life, calcifying into a one dimensional shell.
Wake up! Your comfort is killing you!
Start saying yes again and see what happens. Take a risk and grab every opportunity, invitation or request that comes your way with both hands! Who knows what experiences are waiting to be had if you surrender and say yes? Who knows what great people you are going to meet or what parts of yourself are waiting to be discovered when you say ‘fuck it, I’m in’? Who knows what will happen to the relationships of your life when you start participating again? What life-changing adventures are waiting for you behind the wall of ‘no’? Don’t you want to find out?
If you want to be in the exact same place that you’re in right now one year from now, then don’t change anything. Keep saying no, keep being comfortable and keep having a life that you feel is never good enough. If, however, you have a vision of your life and relationships being in a better space where you are alive and empowered and manifesting abundance in all areas and having grand adventures, then start saying ‘yes!’.
Be afraid and do it anyway.