Tag Archives: Danielle LaPorte

The Power of No

Danielle LaPorte says it so perfectly – No makes way for yes.

We live in a society of that feeds off an intense need for instant gratification and a fear of missing out. A society in which saying no is virtually out of the question. Saying no means you might miss out on something really big or it could very well result in a loss of or lack of something in your life.  You simply can’t say no and expect to live a full life…or so a rather vocal segment of our modern society would have us believe.  And let’s not forget that we, as a society, judge our level of success by how “busy” we are.  The more things you say yes to the busier you are, the more successful you are, right?  So again, saying no just can’t possibly be an option.

But here’s the harsh reality – unless you say the word no, at least on occasion, you can and will lose the ability to say yes at some point, very possibly at the moment when you really want/need to say yes. Why? Because you are human and can’t do it all.  Because there are only so many hours in a day.  Because no matter how close you get to being perfect, you still can’t be solely responsible for accomplishing everything that needs to be done at home, at work, and everywhere else in between.  It just isn’t possible.  You just cannot say yes all the time.

And let’s be clear – those are merely the facts as they exist, they do not represent a failure on your part. There’s no judgment. There is only the stone-cold reality that when we say yes too often we eventually reach a point when yes can’t possibly be the answer anymore.  If you are always saying yes you will inevitably reach the point where you cannot physically fit anything more into your schedule…into your life…and so it is then that no has to be the answer.  Something has to go before anything else can be added.  Quite a conundrum when faced with the opportunity to do something you have always wanted to do, but you can’t because of all the other things you previously said yes to (things that you may not even really care about).

And who does it hurt? Let’s be honest here – primarily you. And while overcommitting on your part can create problems for others as well, by and large you are the one who suffers from your inability to say no.  So what is the answer?  How do we find a balance between saying yes and saying no?

The key is to set and honor boundaries for yourself. If you follow any of Brené Brown’s work then you are likely familiar with this statement from her on the importance of boundaries, “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” Your time, your health, your sanity, your talents, etc. are important so you need to be mindful of your “Yes’s and No’s” such that you are honoring your wants, needs, desires, and limitations.  Again, it is not about any kind of  failure on your part, rather it is about being honest with yourself and not overcommitting.  Saying no on occasion to things that don’t feel right, don’t resonate, don’t align with your personal mission is not only okay, it is essential to being able to say yes to all things that are meaningful to you.  Commit to the things that light you up, to the things you are passionate about.  Don’t say yes out of guilt or some misguided sense of obligation to someone else.  Say yes because it means something to you.  If you do that, not only will you find that you are no longer overcommitted, but you will also find yourself in a place of great joy and happiness.

Reprogramming Yourself

One of the most profound lessons I have learned in recent years is that all the limiting beliefs I grew up living, knowing, understanding, and believing to be true don’t have to be my reality forever. Those learned truths may have been true in the house in which I grew up, in my school, in my circle of friends, in the general society that surrounded me at the time, but they may not be true for me any longer. They may have served me well at one time or another, but there can come a time when that is no longer the case. Circumstances change, people change, time moves on…and so do the truths by which we live our lives.

The struggle comes in the fact that we were conditioned to believe that those learned truths are universal truths. Furthermore, to no longer believe them is flat-out wrong. And so we must embark on a journey of unlearning those truths that no longer serve us and are no longer true for us. We literally have to reprogram ourselves from what we learned earlier in life…something far easier said than done.

So how am I doing it? Well, to be sure it is an ongoing struggle. That ego voice of mine tries hard to sneak those learned truths back in at every turn…and if I question it, that same ego voice tries to convince me I am wrong to question the truths of my childhood and younger years – How dare I question the limiting beliefs I have been provided by this world surrounding my role in a relationship, in a career, in society as a whole. Who am I to question the advice of so many about learning to settle and accept whatever you can get out of life? Where do I get off challenging what is “okay” and “acceptable”? Indeed, that ego voice can resort to some pretty rough tactics in an effort to get me to go back to those learned truths…that comfort zone we have known and lived in for so very long.

But through continual practice, and the occasional help from my life coach, I am finding ways to break free from the limiting thinking deeply embedded in my psyche. I have begun to ask myself “who says that is right, correct or true?” Is this something I learned and believe to be true as a result of being taught it or is it really a universal truth? For the record, 99% of the time the answer has been that it is a learned truth. And so I challenge myself to think outside of that box I was placed in by all that society has taught me over the years. And while I can’t necessarily say I have come to all new answers, I am continuing to wrestle with it…no longer accepting what I have always believed to be the only answer. Progress.

Final thoughts – I am a big fan of Danielle LaPorte’s work, especially her Truthbombs. One of my favorites is “Conclusions are lethal.” Too often we accept things we are taught/told as conclusions, facts, the truth, etc. when in reality they may not be for us. Be brave…be bold…challenge the thoughts that are embedded in your mind that don’t resonate with you any longer and then set out to find your new truth. There’s nothing right or wrong about listening to your heart and soul and living out your own personal truth. You have permission to reprogram yourself.