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This TINY Word Can Change Your Life

by jenny sansouci on October 6, 2015

Hey guys!

This is gonna be a quick blog today but it’s a topic that’s been on my mind for a long time (years) and I’ve been revisiting it quite a bit lately.

Saying no.

It’s one of my absolute favorite things to do. In fact, I say no to most things and my life is so much better for it.

When I first got into blogging back in 2008, I remember reading a quote that I loved and I wrote it down in my notebook – I can’t remember who said it but it was along the lines of this:

“A man is truly free when he can say ‘no’ to a dinner invitation without giving a reason.”

I got excited when I read it and I decided to practice saying NO to things I didn’t really want to do, without giving a long, drawn out reason why. It was really uncomfortable at first, but I just started saying things like, “thank you so much for asking but I won’t be able to join you that night.” or “I already have plans, but have a great time!” Even if those plans were just me making squash soup for myself and reading a book at home. 😉

I started to drop the guilt that comes with saying no to things I didn’t actually want to do, because doing things I don’t want to do REALLY drains my energy, and that’s unproductive for everyone involved. I guarantee someone would rather have you say “no” to something than say “yes” when I don’t mean it, and show up annoyed.

Saying no felt really good, and nobody got mad. In fact, most people respect others more when they’re confident in their choices and have clear boundaries.

Around the same time, I started reading the 4-Hour Workweek and Tim Ferriss said something along the lines of…

“I don’t say yes to anything that doesn’t excite me.”

I remember thinking, what would my life be like if I lived like that? I decided to try.

Anything that didn’t spark excitement or joy inside me, I said no to. Sometimes I had to catch myself saying yes to things out of habit or obligation and I would force myself to pause and really feel it through, and trust my instincts.

Life started to fill up with things that excited me. And the things that didn’t excite me began to drop away.

I’m proud to say I have pretty stellar boundaries today. I say no with joy. Ask my friends. They know very well. 😉 (I love you guys so much).

Saying YES feels so freeing and fun today,  because I only say yes to things that are a f*ck yes! Otherwise it’s a no.

The only side effect is that now I seem to have a VERY low tolerance for things that don’t excite me…

Fast forward to today, I’m reading a book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, and it’s about just that – discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, only filling your life and your time with things that lead to your highest contribution in the world. Isn’t that the freaking best? Cutting all the BS out of your life and just getting straight to the good stuff. The stuff that matters. The stuff that’s TRULY important to you. It feels exciting just to think about that, doesn’t it? My stomach is tingling just re-reading this paragraph.

For the purpose of this blog I decided to pull out an OLD SCHOOL video from Gabby Bernstein about saying no with love. Check it out below, it’s quick and awesome! It’s from 2011! So cool.

Gabby will teach you TONS more about getting clear on your true purpose and sharing your highest contribution in Spirit Junkie Masterclass Digital (it’s only available for 3 more days).

Gab says that saying yes too much can be very detrimental because:

  • We’re not serving others because we are bringing low-level energy to the “yes” and to the situation
  • We’re resentful because we said yes to something we really didn’t want to do

Powerfully saying “no” with love is awesome because:

  • If it’s not serving your energy, it’s NOT serving your greater purpose
  • Saying no have so much more energy in your life to say “yes” to the things that are truly aligned with what you want in your life
  • You learn to create positive boundaries

Get more life and business training from Gabby in Spirit Junkie Masterclass Digital.

Start to think about it. When are you saying “yes” to things you really, truly, in your gut DON’T want to do?

How much of your life is truly filled with things you really love? How much of your life is filled with things you wish you could say no to? What would happen if you did?

And even further, when you DO say no, when are you giving long excuses out of guilt when you could just be saying “I have other plans, but thanks!”

Oh man, it’s so much fun to have boundaries. Life gets really exciting when you do and you’ll have so much more energy. I promise. 🙂

PLEASE share in the comments about your experience with this! Or if you have concerns about saying no or that scares you, comment below and I’ll read them and reply.

And most exciting to me, comment and give me an example of something you said “no” to and life got better because of it.

Get my Dream Life Package and start creating your dream life! (only available for 3 more days)

Great boundaries are one of my absolute favorite and most ESSENTIAL forms of self-care.

Cheers to saying no more. Way more! Practice it today.

I love you guys so much!!!!


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Becca October 6, 2015 at 1:59 pm

This really came at the perfect time for me. I’ve always love seeing your updates in my email and this one was no different. I have always had a hard time saying no. I am a natural born people pleaser so I get super anxious if I think I am upsetting someone. Not a healthy habit I tell you. This makes for over scheduling, loss of energy and anxiety attacks. Saying no with ease, no guilt and not having to give a reason is such a great practice and this reminded me that I need to keep on practicing. Thanks so much! 🙂

Grace October 6, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Couldn’t agree more, Jenny! My biggest “no” moment was walking into my (intimidating) boss’s office and telling him I wanted to start working part-time instead of full so I could pursue more freelance writing.

Part of me felt guilty, like I should be more grateful to even HAVE a job as a recent college grad, especially when many of my friends were struggling to find work. But a bigger part of me knew I was denying myself fulfillment and opportunity by stifling my creativity. It was one of the scariest and BEST decisions ever.

AMR October 8, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Love this post. As a single mother of 2 children in NYC, I say “no” quite often, ESPECIALLY, during the week when homework needs to be completed, dinner prepared and showers taken all before their 830P bedtimel. I really only have time for the kids during the week, so hanging out with friends is really not an option unless, as you mentioned, it something that thrills the heck out of me. Saying “no” allows me to manage my life a little better, but there is still work to be done.

Thanks again for your post!


Tina Milnes November 23, 2015 at 10:55 am

Wow. I have been wrestling all weekend over whether or not to accept a client request, despite in my heart not feeling aligned to it. For some reason, 5 minutes after writing about it in my journal, I came to your site and read this. No, is clearly the answer! Perfect timing! xo

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