For some, this word can feel quite restricting, heavy and constraining. Do you agree? And that’s perfectly understood!
When we’re a kid and we wanna climb on the couch with our shoes on, we’re told NO.
When we’re a kid and we wanna pull our dacks down and run around the supermarket naked, we’re told NO.
When we’re at school and we wanna wear green shorts instead of the standard blue uniform, we’re told NO.
So as we grow up, we find SO much freedom in the word YES. So much so, that we wanna say yes to everything. Why? Cos it feels SO FREE!!!
I know that throughout my personal growth journey, and it may be the same for you too, I have felt the need to say YES to most things. I’ve felt like to be adventurous, I need to say yes. To be open and willing, I need to say yes. To be constantly growing, I need to say yes.
And for me, it got to the point where my whole life was a YES FEST and I was such a freaking scatter brain, drowning in the freedom of yes so much so that I burned out. Several times. Can you relate to that?
I totally get the importance of saying ‘yeh why not… screw it lets do it’ as Richie Branson says.
But sometimes, FREEDOM and FOCUS do not come from yes. Sometimes, actually a lot of the time, freedom and focus come from NO.
That’s what I’m learning. And boy oh boy does it feel good.
I mean, seriously… How can we be focussed if we say yes to everything? Scatterbrain alert.
When I mentor entrepreneurs who are SO fired up, so excited and so dam smart that they have ideas coming from everywhere… I share with them this quote from Steve Jobs.
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. it means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1000 things.”
Booom shaka laka. Thank you Stevey.
Another note to add- Sometimes, distractions are disguised as opportunities. And sometimes they’re REALLY well disguised.
If you wanna live a more focussed, free life (cos hey, some people don’t!) start to notice where you are saying yes to things that don’t matter. And start to exercise the power of NO.
As Oprah says, “No is a complete sentence.” And it’s a muscle to flex.
But it feels so dam good when we start to practice it. It’s like magic. All this time, and space, and clarity appears.
Here are some recent examples of NO in my own life that have been huge wins!
To get ready for The New Way Live in May, I said NO to the opportunity to create an online program. I said NO to a holiday in Europe. And I said NO to a trip to Columbia. I said NO to an event in New Jersey.
When I committed to The New Way Live event, I almost said NO because of three other events around the same time. Alexi Panos, one of my guest speakers at the event was asked to speak at Awesomeness Fest that same weekend… She said NO to that event, because she had said a meaningful YES to The New Way Live. She teaches me a lot about the power of NO.
Saying NO allowed me to say YES to what will be the event of the year.
What can you say no to that will open up some freedom and focus for you ?
PS. Here are some more of my favorite NO quotes for you 🙂
Warren Buffet said “We need to learn the slow ‘yes’ and the quick ‘no’
Tim Ferriss said “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.”
Josh Billings said “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”