Master the Word NO

By: Tonya E.

IG: @bohemiantonya

Master The Word NO

Legend has it (legend being my grandmother) that the two things I did right out the gate as a baby were 1. walk before I crawled and 2. the first word out of my mouth was NO. A loud, animated, bold, roaring NO. My grandmother said to my mom, “this one will be an interesting piece of trouble.”

Now most would take shame to such a childhood story, but over the years, I’ve discovered this to be the foundation of keeping my sanity and my happiness. I mean, why waste time crawling around when I can simply walk and why accept things that I do not have to when I can simply say NO. And quite as it’s kept, my favorite person to say NO to is me! 

In case you’re thinking, so wait, you tell yourself NO? But isn’t this the age of Yes? Shouldn’t I tell myself Yes for growth and Yes for happiness? Well, it depends. It depends on what the voice in your head is saying. It depends on the demons and struggles that you battle with. For me, I told myself Yes too many times. No matter the situation, no matter the question in my head, I said Yes. I had to learn when to say Yes and when to say NO. And once I mastered that see-saw, life became beautiful and very special.

A few years ago, I decided to take it back to the basics and follow in my own footsteps(baby footsteps, that is). I echoed NO from my mouth daily. NO was my first friend. NO is now my teacher. Isn’t NO such a simple yet complex, but oh so good to say from your lips kinda word?

Hey, It’s understood in every language, you can’t misspell it; it’s universal! 

So, how can you take the power of NO and make it work for you…..first off, understand that it is ok to do so. Step back and evaluate the thoughts, things, relationships in your life. No really, seriously take some time and do it. Look for those places where you should turn your Yes into a NO. 


Need a start? Here is a quick list of things to say a roaring, daring, confident NO to, starting today:

1. Say NO to fear.

 Repeat after me, “Fear, you will not stop me from living my dreams and cultivating the   

life that I have designed.” The end.


2.  Say NO to fake love. 

Fake love from people in your life. Fake love from yourself through thoughts and actions. Fake love from everything that does not serve your purpose. If there is anything in your life that isn’t loving you the way that you deserve, curve it.


3. Say NO to bad emotions. 

Now emotions are tricky dickies. We are not only surrounded within our own emotions, thoughts and feelings but we are constantly bombarded with everyone else's. We take on the energy of others daily. So be careful whose energy you invite in.


4. Say NO to complacency. 

We as humans love to settle. We love to come home and settle in our favorite spot on the sofa. We love to settle into a routine. We love to settle on where we are in our lives. We settle for the sloppy seconds that life sometimes hands out. If you are not where you want to be in your life or if you desire change, make it happen. Never settle for just an Ok life.


5. Say NO to cheap thrills. 

Cheap people. Cheap actions. Cheap foods that wreak havoc on your body and mind. Cheap clothes that only fill up space and emotional voids. Quick fixes to problems should be eliminated. They will only come back tomorrow. Don't cheat yourself out of a well-deserved life. Be bougie and high-brow.


6. Say NO to lazy, self love.

Yes…yes, it is ok to love yourself. It is ok to love yourself before you love anyone else. So ask yourself,  “What have I done for me lately. Something just for me; that does not involve the satisfaction of others? Something that only I benefit from?”   It’s been a long time huh, if ever. 

Well, change that. Take some time just for you and treat yourself. 


7. Say NO to being last on your to-do list. 

Selfish is that 7-letter word we all love to throw at someone that doesn't do or behave the way we want. And yes, when you put yourself before those that normally get all of your time and energy, this word will be on repeat. Well, let it. Get a little stingy and put yourself first.


8. Say NO to whatever makes you unhappy. 

The fact that we always feel this deeply embedded need to appease others is crippling. You 

cannot satisfy everyone. So don’t bother trying. Get out of the mindset of thinking life is about being disappointed, being unhappy and only satisfying others. Ditch the crutches and work on your happiness. Never regret anything that makes you smile.


9. Say NO to soul-sucking thoughts.

if it’s not positive, if it’s not bringing you towards your dreams, if it’s not helping you to cultivate, don’t let it in. Period.


10. Say NO to self-doubt.

Learn to listen to and trust your inner voice. Not the negative one, remember, we got rid of that in the above sections. Trust your natural born instincts and the positive voice within and go for what you want! Your path is already laid out in front of you. You are right where you’re supposed to be; in this space, in this moment. Lessons and wins are bountifully waiting for you. Your path is right there, just step out and go for it. Trust and follow.


11. Say NO to everyone else’s rules. 

Be the rebel in your life! Do what you want, when you want, how you want, with whomever you want. Never apologize for being you.


So, which number do you relate to? What will you start saying NO to today? 


Shaniece VincentComment