The Power of No

The Power of No
by Starcat

I like to say “yes” to things. Granted, I’m a person who likes to be agreeable and to please others, but that’s only part of the story. Often, the event or project I’m agreeing to really sounds fun or interesting or cool. I like to keep my options open and to be involved in lots of different types of gatherings, activities, and opportunities for community service.

Yet, as we all know, there are only a certain number of hours in a day and days in a week. We’re living here on the material plane and thus we need to balance our activities with time for rest. This fall, I discovered that saying “yes” to so many things was wearing me out. I decided to take time this month to devote to my creativity, to contemplate, to just be with myself and look within. In order to make this happen, I’ve tuned in to the power of “no.”

When you get an event invitation from a friend on Facebook, or someone asks you to help out their favorite cause, or you have an idea for a complex project, take time to pause before immediately agreeing. Sit quietly with the notion of the offer. What feeling does it spark within you? Is there a passionate “yes!” that indicates it’s just what you need? Or is it more that you don’t want to feel left out? How will it fit within your schedule? Can you shift the opportunity to a later date?

I’m working on only saying “yes” to those things that generate a sense of excitement and joy. I’ve never enjoyed saying “no,” and when I do, I’ve often felt like I needed to justify why I’m choosing to decline. Realizing that I have the perfect right to simply offer a polite “no thanks” is empowering. And acknowledging to myself that I’m not going to miss out on something important is helpful, as well. If it’s something that will have a huge impact on my life, it’ll come around again. I don’t believe opportunity only knocks once. If we’re open to the possibilities and seeking the answers within ourselves, I think they’ll show up again when we’re ready, exactly when and where we need them.