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The Lost Art of No

It’s often our first word. We learn how to use it often and with abandon.

We wish our toddlers and preschoolers wouldn’t say it.
We hope our teenagers do.

We grow up and forget how to use it.

We think saying it makes us weak.

(stock photo by lusi)

We somehow correlate it with disappointment.
We don’t want to be impolite.
We don’t think anyone else will do what needs to be done, so we justify not saying it.
We think not saying it will make everyone happy.

Deep down, we all know it’s impossible to make everyone happy, but we’re capable of anything.
And everything.
So, we don’t care.
And we don’t say it.

We think if we don’t say it, we’ll have more power.
We group it together with other things we don’t want to leave on the table.
Leaving things on the table is unacceptable when success is at stake.

Don’t take no as an answer, but giving it as one could kill the possibilities.
We say yes to the possibilities.
We say yes to power.
We say yes to too much.

And, by doing that we silently say no to ourselves.

What we really need to do is travel back in time to when we weren’t afraid to say it.
We were expected to say it. We were encouraged to say it.
We need to summon our inner child and shout it out loud.

Whether or not you stomp your foot for added effect is up to you.

Have you lost the art of saying no?