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"NO"vember: Making a Way out of The “No” Way

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Yes, my November blog is late. Why? Because I was practicing (well, sort of) what I challenged us all on in October’s newsletter: “My hope for you and your leadership is that you get more selfish. I’m going to keep practicing it. Let’s practice together.”

This being “more selfish to be more self-full” is more than a notion. My biggest growth this month was to get more comfortable with saying “no” - and it has not been easy - it’s been VERY uncomfortable! I found that being more self-full is intricately tied to saying “No.” There were places where I failed in the last 30 days and said “yes” when it should have been “no.” And I’m frustrated that some of those “yes”es will linger into December - where I wanted some creative space that now I don’t have because I avoided the short-term discomfort of giving a “no.” Out of frustration, I’ve prayed more - and meditated more, of course.

I’d sit at my sacred space altar and take deep breaths trusting that I would find my way, making my way into a “no” way. I held to my intention, messed up and chided myself, and finally landed at some of the ways that I am saying “No” SO THAT I can say “yes” to so much more...what I really want and - more importantly - the feelings I really want to have… how I want to BE.

Answers came as gifts in so many ways once I got still enough to recognize them:

  1. Char, my dear DTL friend and colleague, made a 45-minute call with me...At first I was hurt to not get a full 60 minutes...then I lived into the magic of how much we talked and enjoyed each other in 45 minutes. ANSWER: “no” to 60-min meetings; YES to 45 min - it IS enough time. I got at least another hour back in my workday.

  2. When the pandemic started, I had a clear calendar for obvious reasons - for a good month. In that month, I got clear about how I was scheduling myself; I had calendar boundaries as a part of my self-care to support where I was dysregulated. What I had set up felt REALLY good. ANSWER: “no” to random meetings any day of the week; “YES” to those types of meetings being only on 2 days each week.

  3. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE teaching! I love it way more than coaching. ANSWER: “no” to future indi coaching clients; “YES” to current indi coaching clients and those in my programs where coaching is offered (NOTE: I’m even taking it off of my website - and that scares the young “To-Biz” in me.)

  4. I’m at the point where I need help, and I was scared of how it could appear to others if I had it. ANSWER: “no” to how it could look to others if I have an assistant; “yes” to getting some assistant-type support, without shame or embarrassment or apology (This was HUGE for me ya’ll - I had no idea that I was afraid of the “ridicule” of it).

I know there are more good “yes”es coming my way as I get even more clear. I’m excited about what I can learn to say “no” to comfortably. Until then, I’m going to keep practicing and letting it be uncomfortable. I’m committed to working through it in the discomfort- that’s what I teach, after all. Because once it’s embodied - only about 2,768 times from now (my true folks will get this!), then I’m trusting it will be more comfortable.

So, as we close out November and head into December, my hope for you and your leadership is that you get more selfish, practice a “No”vember attitude, and soul-search into your true “no”s and true “yes”es that you plan to have in place in 2021. I’m going to keep practicing. As always, let’s practice together.

Loving you -

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