The power of No

no - Nathan Gibbs“What you say no to determines what you say yes to.”

That short sentence was tucked in a presentation by Alli Worthington, founder of the BlissDom Conferences and Blissful Media Group during Jon Acuff’s Start Conference this past weekend.

I think I missed whatever she said next because I was sitting there stunned by the simplicity of her statement.

Have you ever considered the word “no” that way?

I have struggled with that word for a number of reasons. I hate to disappoint. I don’t want to miss out. I dislike conflict. The list goes on and on.

But turning the thought process around backwards clarifies that decision to decline in a way that gives such freedom.

While I know intuitively that I can’t do it all, I still waffle in the heat of the moment and cave in with a weak, “yes” or “sure.” Later, I’m left wondering what on earth just hit me and why I agreed to yet another responsibility or project.

Instead my focus needs to be on the yeses. What is most important and does this new thing support that? If not, then the answer needs to be either “no” or “not now.”

Let’s practice that now – does this support my yes? “No. I am not able to take that on.”

What do you need to say no to?