Family, Kids & Yourself, Stress Less, Stress Relief

3 Tips to Embrace the Power of Saying “No”

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By Alyson Poling, NLC

How does the word “no” make you feel?  Do you think of failure, defeat, or disappointment?  No is an important word and has a lot of power, but it has a negative connotation (clearly!) and doesn’t give us the warm and fuzzies like the word “yes.”

For many of us, it’s also harder to say. For example, do you normally take the time to think through an invitation or opportunity to make sure it’s something that will fulfill your purpose? Or do you say yes to many things because you think you should?  My guess is the latter, because many people think saying no will lead to hurting someone’s feelings. However, the more we say yes, the crazier our lives get and the more we may lose focus on what’s really important.

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Consider this: Did you know that some of the most successful people in the world say no to most things, so that they can say yes to the few things that will bring them closer to their purpose?

This is mind blowing—and maybe it’s time to start following their lead.

What better time of year is there to focus on the idea of saying no? The holiday season brings on ALL. THE. THINGS. We have activities, volunteer opportunities, parties, dinners, shopping, elves to hide, and the list goes on! Your December calendar may already be jam packed with more than you can handle. I know responding ‘yes’ to every event is tempting, because (let’s face it) all of these things are fun. But what happens when you get closer to the main event?  Are you tired, depleted, stressed, run-down, or sick?  Nobody has time to deal with that.

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This time of year is meant to be joyful. Feeling fulfilled and energized is our ultimate goal. To do this, it’s time to start thinking differently about the word no. It’s time to carefully think through each opportunity thrown your way and to answer according to what it is going to do for YOU!

Here are a few tips to empower you to say no the next time something comes up that doesn’t align with your goals.

How to Embrace the Power of Saying No

1. Start journaling

What is your purpose?  Ask yourself this question and write down what’s most important to you, how you want to spend your time, and what you want in life. Your answer here will set the stage for how you choose to spend your time. Refer back to your journal often to keep this intention fresh in your mind.

2. Don’t respond immediately

The next time an opportunity is presented to you, don’t answer immediately. In our world of instant gratification, we are quick to answer to check it off our list. Instead of responding without much thought, kindly respond, “Thanks, I’ll get back to you soon!”  This way, you give yourself time to think through your answer to make sure it aligns with your intention but also lets them know you received the invite. (You can always set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get back to them so you don’t forget!)

3. Say no clearly, with intention

Will this bring me joy or help me fulfill my intention? Here is where the power of no really comes into play.  If you find that third holiday party is not how you intended to spend your weekend or if the party goers don’t bring you joy or fulfillment, then you need to do what’s best for you and say no. Explain that you are unable to attend because you are taking to time to focus on whatever it is you wrote down as your intention. You will feel empowered and happy that you put you and your intentions first. And hey, you never know, you just might even inspire or motivate someone else to start doing the same in their own life.

(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)


power of saying no

Alyson Poling is a certified fitness trainer, fitness nutrition coach, and holistic health coach who is Nutritious Life Certified. She is founder of Alyson Poling Fitness and co-founder of The Willow Life, a health coaching business based in the Nashville, TN area. Alyson Poling Fitness workouts are focused on HIIT training which incorporates cardio, strength, and plyometrics.   The Willow Life’s main focus is helping mothers find balance to care for themselves and their families by encouraging them to find time to get in their workouts and helping them find nutritious recipes to feed their families. For motivation, nutritious recipes, and tips, follow along on Instagram at @the_willow_life and @alysonpolingfitness.

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