I spend most of my time working with people who identify as female, so the fine art of saying “no” is a big deal. It’s one of the things we tackle early on in business coaching (waitlist for January is here), since building boundaries and defining what you will and will NOT tolerate will always bring you closer to your higher self and your truest work.
Let’s find some places where you can push things off your plate by saying “no,” and therefore make room for your most important work to come to light.
As always, these points are not about judging you or making you feel small, but about pointing a flashlight to areas of your own interiors that you might not have considered in a while. (Also as always, I only know about these because I’ve been there and unboxed shit-tons of gross debris while getting clear of each one.)
Psst! This is an episode of That’s What She Said, my weekly podcast! You can listen in below, catch up on all the episodes here, or keep reading for a transcript(ish).
Let’s start with 15 things to quit that you might not have considered:
+ e-mail lists you ‘should’ like or care about
+ perfection porn across all social media platforms (think flat lays, styled shoots, and product + photography so good that you want to buy $400 artisanal butter knives RIGHT NOW)
+ that one person you’re insanely jealous of and want to BE
+ Facebook, Twitter, or any social media platform that steals your life force
+ any committees, boards, groups, or clubs that give you a sense of dread or loathing when you think about them
+ any client who causes your solar plexus to contract when you see an e-mail from ’em in your inbox
+ unrealistic challenges that set you up for failure (i.e. 90 days of P90X in a row, what happens on day 91?)
+ the safety of doing the thing you’ve always done
+ going it alone
+ those services you bought but no longer use and now they just take $9.99 a month, every month
+ the news in forms that cause harm (video and text are VERY different animals)
+ your bathroom scale (Related: I weigh 198+ pounds and 0% care.)
Further out, you can unfollow, unsubscribe, ignore, quit, and give up.
I’ve quit: following a mentor I paid $20k to work with; paying attention to a person I want to BE; Facebook; trying to buy clothes online; gluten, dairy, sugar, and garbage food in general at certain points when my health desperately needed attention. I’ve quit the Catholic church, and Christianity in general (related: coming out of the spiritual closet). I’ve even quit trying to explain my job to my mom.
I need to unfollow these people:
I need to unsubscribe from these people:
I don’t have to listen to this voice in my head any longer:
It’s okay to quit paying attention to:
With quitting, you’ll naturally come up against making sure that you reaaaaaaaally need to quit. I’ve tried buying clothes online again recently, and failed. That means I’ve returned hundreds of dollars’ worth of clothing in the past few weeks because sometimes, we need to be sure the rules we’ve made are still true. This is a normal and healthy part of human behavior, not a reason to flog yourself for any reason. (Related: your shame is not interesting.)
Give up. On purpose.
I’ve given up on having an empire, building a team, making 7 figures, being on Oprah’s radar, doing more than 2 speaking gigs a year, creating big huge expensive scalable programs, and trying to connect with the masses instead of 1-on-1, which is my unique area of bliss and expertise.
Mostly I learned about what I needed to give up on by trying to do each of those things and then wondering why I resented my work so much at every turn.
Seething resentment is generally a sign that you’re on the wrong path.
Your turn! I need to give up on:
No more ____________ is a way of saying no.
We all have habits and patterns that repeat, usually unconsciously, until we bring them to light. Let’s drag some of those patterns into the open so you can choose to keep them — or not.
+ No more downloading freebies you never read.
+ No more signing up for services you ‘should’ use.
+ No more trying to make your dreams bigger or smaller in order to fit in.
+ No more toning it down to please _________ (whether that’s a real person or a voice in your head, still applies).
+ No more censoring yourself to avoid being not-liked.
+ No more sticking to rules you’ve had since you were small that no longer make sense or serve you.
+ No more reading books all the way to the end just because you started them.
+ No more numbing out with food/alcohol/drugs/reality TV/other. (Related: is it nourishing or numbing?)
+ No more pretending ________ doesn’t matter, because it does. (In most business-related things, your SOUL is the thing you’re pretending doesn’t matter, which is particularly painful.)
+ No more doing things the way you’ve been doing them because that’s the way they’ve always been done.
Your turn! I’m declaring NO MORE to:
Finally, there’s the big one. The one person, place, or thing that comes to mind when I say there’s a thing you need to quit, stop doing, or start saying no to.
You don’t have to tell me or anyone else, for that matter, but it is helpful to admit it to yourself.
The big thing I need to admit is:
May you give up, quit, unfollow, unsubscribe, and cancel whatever no longer serves you.
May you find ways to bring your truest work to light.
And may you master the fine art of saying “no,” starting right now.