Episode 020 The Power of NO
Episode 020 The Power of Saying No
This week my goal is to give you the tools to stand up for yourself in both your career and your personal life. There is a part in each of us that wants to please other people, that wants to be super helpful, and wants to be counted on.Sometime those parts in us become overwhelming and now we are in full blown push-over mode. I can probably bet that there has been at least one person in your life that you can't/couldn't stand up to. The person who has never heard the word no from you.
Today we are discovering the power of the word no.
The word no is a complete sentence and needs no further explanation. But using the word can seem so harsh, so we spend all this time adding additional explanations when all you need is to say the word no.
Say your manager comes to you and asks you to pick up a shift or stay longer than expected. You probably say something like:
- I wish I could but I gotta meet my friends...
- I really would love to but I have a lesson I can't miss, and I can't get a refund...
- Sure, I wasn't doing anything anyway
It's all of these explanations that allow you to feel less guilty about turning someone down, and about saying the word no.
Let's go with another example:
You had a terrible first date and yet the other person is asking if you want to go out again. They send a text and you respond:
- I'm really busy and...
- I don't think we are a right fit and...
- I'm not looking for a relationship...
You find indirect ways to communicate in and every time you do that it chips away at your ability to use the word no.
Why is it that you feel guilty for using the word no:
- You are trying to spare feelings
- You have been conditioned no not use the word no
- You see no as rude
There can be any number of reason why using the word "No" makes you feel guilty but I am here to let you know that there is no reason to feel guilting about standing strong in what you want.
Now generally I see the most hesitation with my Kapha dominant people. Kapha people tend to want to take care of people and nurture the people in their lives so it's hard for them to stand up and use the word no.
But besides that actors are literally taught to not use the word no. Not having that word in your vocabulary makes you vulnerable to being walked on. We have heard things like:
- Never turn down a job
- Say yes & figure it out later
We are told to know everything and be open to do anything and I can tell you right now that breeds desperation and neediness in our industry.
As an actor you need to have the confidence in yourself to use the word no whenever you need to.
- Are you a dancer? NO
- Can you do this show for $100 stipend? No
- Can you belt to a high Q? No
I can't tell you the amount of times I have talked with directors, casting directors, and was very clear and honest with them when they asked me something in the room. They have actually thanked me for being so direct.
Now I am a person who had become very comfortable with the word no.
- Can you come in your day off? No
- Can you pick up this yoga class? No
- Will you take this job for no money? No
There is so much power in the ability to stand up for what you want. Each time you use the word no you feel more and more confident!
This week I want you to use the word No. Don't back slide just say no.
Using the word no doesn't mean your ungrateful or have an attitude it just means you're not interested in what was being offered. Plain and simple.
Practice using the word no, you never know when the opportunity might present itself.
If you find yourself with the opportunity to say no and you just couldn't, take a moment and figure out what is coming up for you. What stopped you from being able to do so?
Shonda Rhimes in her book The year of Yes says
This week some hesitant feelings might come up, but trust me when I say it's liberating to use the word no. Say it again and again until it feel like part of your vocabulary.
Get to it!