The Power of No


Saying yes has always been the word used to describe new opportunities, living in the now, and just being an overall happier person. But what if I told you no it’s just as powerful.


For so many of us saying no is a foreign concept. This causes us to pile on plans we have no actual ability or room in our schedule to commit to or even putting less effort into everything as a way to counterbalance an already hard-to-manage schedule. Outside of our day-to-day responsibilities being a “yes man or woman” can cause us to allow others to overstep boundaries we are not comfortable with. This may be physical, mental, or even emotional. It is important to know where you draw the line on certain things. That way it makes it easier to put your own foot down and say no when things have gone too far. Additionally, saying no to peers, friends, and even family can keep you out of toxic and overall unhealthy situations. For some, this may be saying no to a peer asking for help on a test, for someone else this may be saying no to someone falsifying lab information. Saying no in a toxic situation will look different to everyone and for some this may even be difficult, this is why it is important to know your own boundaries and make them known to others when needed.


Some ways to go about “re-learning” how to say no is to just say it! This can be as easy as looking in the mirror and saying it to yourself. Though this may seem odd it is important to familiarize yourself with this word and make sure you are even comfortable saying it to yourself before you are with others. 


Another way to start becoming a “no-person” is to remind yourself of your own boundaries, as I stated before. Though you may be comfortable with actually saying no do you know what you will be saying no to? Consider situations or events in your life in which you wish you had said no, reflect on why you said yes in the first place, and see if this is a boundary you would want to be crossed again. If not, refer to the first step and use the power of no!


Lastly, build a schedule. Many times we overbook ourselves because we are not aware of what our schedule even looks like. Take time at the start of each week to write out what you have to do and even uninterrupted free time for self-care. From here if you are asked to do something that may conflict that does not prioritize itself over something else on your list just say no!



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