Why we need the word No

“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” —Richie Norton

I was talking one day to a young mother, overwhelmed by her responsibilities and commitments. I started to suggest that saying ‘no’ to some of those demands might help but before I could finish, she abruptly cut me off.

“‘No’ is negative and I don’t want any negativity in my life.”

Wait a minute. No is a negative? Really?

The positive side of No

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the word ‘No’ possesses some very positive aspects, including protecting personal boundaries and preserving precious creative time. Without the option to say ‘no’, everyone else’s needs, wants and agendas supersede our own.

Creative passion takes a back seat. Every time.

Consider this about No

We  seem to have overlooked that it’s the intention behind our words that are positive or negative. Not the word itself.

Do you answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without taking a moment to think about results? Operating on autopilot can certainly create negative consequences.

Are you saying ‘no’ because a request oversteps a boundary?

Yes or NoHow about saying ‘no’ in order to say ‘yes’ to something else – like time in your studio? Creating balance and honouring your dreams is a huge positive, reducing stress.

Are you responding ‘yes’ to a request simply to please someone else? (Or perhaps to please your own ego?) Again, this so-called positive reply usually carries negative consequences, like filling your schedule with no time left for your creative activities.

There are plenty of other scenarios but the bottom line is this – when we make up the rule that we can’t say ‘no’ we remove the freedom of choice, one of the most valuable freedoms we possess. The extreme end of this spectrum looks like a Stepford Wife!

We need choices

Without choice, our lives become busier and busier. We build up time and energy debts and our creative life gets short-changed. Click To Tweet

What will you say ‘no’ to so you can say ‘YES’ to some creative time?

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