Day 131 ~ 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project

To Know Health is to NO Health

I attended a sustainable business workshop this past weekend. I sat, listened, shared, and participated in conversations about business practices I had never heard of before; I was enthralled by the tools I was given to empower myself as a business owner as well as those who work in my business. I’ve attended workshops before and have left with pages of notes, handouts, and pamphlets, only to go home, file them away, and never look at them again (unless I do some file cleaning). But today, as I put the ‘preaching to practice,’ I discovered the Unexpected Health…in saying NO.

Saying NO may come easy to some people. For you lucky souls, I commend you on your ability to speak up. But for many of us “YES People,” saying NO has the same effect that nails on a chalkboard has…ouch! Us YES people find it terribly difficult to say NO because we are caretakers. And although there is nothing wrong with taking care of one another, when another’s care takes constant precedence over our own, dis-ease and ill-health usually follows. Which leads me to the Unexpected Health tidbit of the day: saying NO from the mouths of those who always say YES actually creates a YES situation…and empowering ourselves and others to find the YES situations in life is healthy.

Let me explain: when we actually say NO, we are giving and receiving empowerment; we are creating the opportunity for ourselves and others to say YES to personal responsibility. I’ll give you an easy example: a friend who works in a particular organization asked for my business to be a part of that organization…and I really didn’t want to. Now for this YES girl, it would have been easy to say, “Oh sure,” and then resent the hell out of myself for saying YES and resent the friend who asked me because I felt obligated to “help a friend out.” Well today, I practiced one of my workshop tools and said NO.

After the initial shock of my direct (but kind) NO answer, I felt empowered. I had empowered myself by speaking my truth right away; without hesitation. But I choose to think that I also empowered my friend by stretching their comfort zone in sales. It’s easy to ask a friend for a favor…or in this case, a sale. But how much healthier do we feel when we ‘close the deal’ on someone we have no ties to? As a salesperson, how much empowerment and pride do we have in ourselves and whatever it is that we may be selling when we can engage a complete stranger in our product?

We need to be stretched in life. We need to step out of our comfort zones and–to borrow the phase–“play a bigger game.” The big game of life has many YES’s and NO’s…and the easier time we have at letting go of what YES and NO means (i.e. it’s not personal), the greater the empowerment we will have as a human race. So the next time you feel the burning desire to say NO, practice it. Be firm in your answers and know that as you say NO a little more, or YES a little more (if you’re a NO kind of person), you are a part of empowering our world. Say YES to that kind of empowerment whenever possible…because in the NO’s, we will find the YES’s. -Until tomorrow, Jaime

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