The Power of "No"
No just means "Not Now."
It has the power to direct us.
And for us to be directed.
And to direct ourselves by saying no to that which isn't our cup of tea or doesn't serve us in the moment.
When we say no ourselves it often means exactly that: "Not now. Not until I know more. Not until I see efficacy or proof or popularity or see it in practice or in context."
No. Until someone else wants it. Or until I hear it's good from someone I trust. Or a stranger. Good word of mouth. Or with a doctor's recommendation. Or when I've tried the alternative.
Or no because I wasn't listening. Wasn't fully paying attention. Wasn't in the moment. Was in my head. Was rushing to judgement. It was no before you got to the end. Finished your thought. Expressed the idea or story or pitch or project fully. No no no.
Until later, when someone else got it or bought it or tried it out and liked it and then "No wasn't what I meant. Isn't what I mean. You took it the wrong way."
No, I don't like that. Because it's new. Because I haven't tried it. Because I know won't like it. Like broccoli. Or Brussel sprouts when I was kid. Of course, now they're my favorite sautéed and seasoned just right. Now they are a "yes." But used to be a firm no.
What's a "firm no" vs a "soft no" anyway? How about a "tentative yes" vs a "fuck yeah!" What about "maybe?"
There are gradations of no, no? A firm no. A strong no. An absolute no. A firm rejection.
And then there is a "soft pass." A soft no. Meaning, come back later. Try again. With different elements. Or a new presentation. Or with different timing.
Or I'm "indifferent." Because of my mood. Because "I'm in the know" which often translates to "I'm in the no." Because that how I exercise my power. That's all they'll let me do: Say "no." So I say it liberally. Because I'm not allowed to utter "yes."
Lesson: If we disempower "yes" by only giving others the ability to exercise their power by saying "no," then guess what they're going to spend their time doing? Guess what we'll spend our days hearing? Nonono. And you can take that to the bank. Actually, you can't. Because no's don't fill your account; only yeses do.
Know-it-alls no the path: "No way no how no-no's: They'll be "no it alls." No all the time. Because it's the only way they can feel any sense of control, any sense of authority, any sense of empowerment. They'll exercise they're creativity by inventing all kinds of reasons, excuses and ways to say "no." No because I said so. No because that's not what they want. Not what they like. Because they don't trust me and I don't trust myself. (See: Trust) No just because.
No is so commonplace that we in casual conversation when we agree with someone we'll often respond "No, yeah." Listen for it. It's a continual refrain: (someone nodding): "No, no, yeah."
We are chock full of "no." We hear no so often we don't even recognize it ourselves when we utter it. No, no, yeah. What an oxymoron! We say the opposite of what we mean and then contradict ourselves with the very next word. "No, no, yeah."
"I no, right?"
"Do you no?"
Let's empower the "yes" in our lives by empowering others' "yeses." If we empower others to get to yes, then yes is what we'll hear a lot more often along the path.
Yes. Thank you. More please.
Remember, the thing to know about "no" is that no means no. No for now. Not until later. Maybe never. But never say never.
No means no until you realize it points the path to yes.
So now you know a little more about no. You've acquired some "no-ledge." Which is particularly powerful when it helps you get to "yes."
And we all need more "yes" in our lives, no?
©TW Hawk 2017. All Rights Reserved.