“I’ve got to say no to the good so I can say yes to the best.” -Zig Ziglar
Boundaries. Discernment. No, nope, no thank you. All of this is on behalf of yes, that’s it, exactly.
Some people are great at setting boundaries and saying no. Most of us aren’t. Or we say no in all the wrong places and miss out on the biggest yes we could wish for.
I thought my ‘no’ was getting really strong. But my life was still busting at the seams. Then I realized what I had to say no to….the things I really wanted to say yes to. There really is such a thing as ‘too much of a good thing’. It’s hardest for me to say no when the opportunity is fun or exciting, with and for people I love, uses my skills and makes something happen. While this seems like good criteria for YES, as my world expands, it’s impossible to say yes to it all. This week’s practice is about saying no and exploring our relationship to that no, to the yes and to our own sense of discernement.
Practice: Say No four times per day. This may be to a request from another, an opportunity that’s not quite a fit or a habit you engage with that’s not working for you.
Pay Attention: When you’re saying no, notice which part of you wants to say yes and why. Notice what fear or concern is associated with saying no. Feel into what’s important about saying no in this instance.
Reflection: This is where the transformation really occurs. Use these questions to gleam insights and help you tweak where your yeses and noes are going, what’s important to you and why and where you need to build some muscle. Writing them down helps to ground your awareness, reading back helps to draw on patterns and themes.
Daily: At the end of each day, take a few minutes to answer the following questions…
- What did I have the most difficulty saying no to and why?
- What fears arise when I’m saying no or considering saying no?
- What did I do or say yes to that warranted a ‘no’?
- After saying no, what feelings were present in my experience?
Weekly: At the end of the week, take some time to read through the questions you answered daily. As you read, notice any patterns or themes showing up and then reflect on the following…
- When setting my priorities, or saying yes to things out of fear for a particular outcome if I say no, what outcome am I left with and how does this impact my life?
- What themes am I noticing about the areas where I need more boundaries or discernement? What can I see would open up for me in these areas if boundaries were set and discernement built?
- Where do I want more ‘yes’? What are the current ‘yeses’ that need to be kicked to the curb to open up the opportunities I want?
- How may I gather support or create agreement with others around what I want to say yes and no to?