The Power of “No”

Show of hands, who’s been to a wedding recently? Ok good. Keep your hands up if at any point during that wedding you danced… or attempted to at least. Great.

As a younger man I liked to run around a lot. I always had to find the action. Ultimately that had to do with being a people pleaser, and also because being stimulated and surrounded by others was a way to avoid being alone with myself. I wasn’t a bad guy – not even remotely. But there was a way I related to myself that had me need to run.

And my parents – in an attempt to help, aka fix – would often say to me, “You don’t have to dance at every wedding.”

And I would smile or brush it off because my identity was at least partly built on always needing to “dance.”

But as I got older my perspective began to shift. And I was able to see the value in that phrase.

Today, I’d like to offer it to you in a slightly different format. It’s the “power of no.”

I know this group, this community. I have a lot of respect for the power and the success, the heart and conscientious nature of everyone sitting at these tables. It’s incredible what we create in here, and out there. Over 7M last year. A goal of 8M this year. Amazing!

And at the same time, we don’t always end up on our own lists. We are challenged to show up in all the places that matter. To be fair, this meeting is based on how we create business. But I know how much other elements matter to us. Our families, our communities, the areas where we can be charitable and make a difference, and so on.

And I believe we all know that by showing up strong in areas outside our businesses, we ultimately strengthen our businesses and our experience of ourselves.

So today I ask you, “Where are you saying yes that you should be saying no?” Where are you giving yourself away?

There’s nothing wrong with saying “no.” In fact saying “no” to certain people and certain circumstances often leads to actually saying yes to ourselves, so we can generate our own needs and then pass it on again by saying “yes” elsewhere.

There can be a lot of power in “yes,” when it’s chosen on purpose. But we have all experienced times when we say “yes” as an automatic. Consider that there are consequences to every choice. So I invite you to take a look across the landscape of your business – and even your life – to notice those places where you find yourselves avoiding “no.”

Often times we even know we’re doing it. And for what? Really?

There is power in saying “no.” It saves time, energy, waste, and it can lead your business in a straighter and truer path.

Sometimes I leave you with a statement. Today I’m going to leave you with a question. What would you have access to if you became more comfortable with saying “no?”

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