Learning to just say "NO"

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Images 5 1 1 | Learning To Just Say &Quot;No&Quot;




Just say no.


Heard that phrase before in elementary and middle school, growing up, during the drug-free campaign week, right?


My teachers would pass out red ribbons and talk about ‘stamping out smoking’ and not giving into peer pressure by that simple two-letter word.


No” is a powerful word.


One that I know, I myself, personally, do not always feel comfortable using.


In fact, “no” is one of my least favorite words.




“Can you work this into your schedule?” Yes.


“Can you write this up?” Yes.


“Can you meet me at this time?” Yes.


“Could you turn that in by 5 p.m. today?” Yes.


“Could you do this for me?” Yes.


Yes, yes, yes.


Yes,” often times, comes a heck of a whole lot easier to say.


And “yes” is not just easier to say; it’s easier to feel like I am pleasing others, winning the approval of others, not ruffling feathers and I am tapping into my inner-Superwoman ability (the ability to “do it all”).




Today, however, I said, “No”…


It was nothing too dramatic, but something I needed to do in order to continue to give more time to THRIVE, my time and my self-care.


Scenario 1: A part-time home-health job for an occupational therapy company that had me stuck in Austin traffic for an accumulated 90-minutes, in order to drive out to a 14-year-old client in South East and treat him for a 30-minute session. While I loved working with the kiddo, the job itself was just not feasible for a wise use of my time and energy. I dreaded the rush-hour traffic, I dreaded the later evening hours, I dreaded feeling like it was something that I had to do.


I didn’t want to say ‘No,’ but in the same breath, I did want to say, ‘No.’


After sleeping on it, I decided to listen to my intuition—“No.”


The result? An indescribable sense of peace washed over my little stressed out mind.


Ahhhhh….I could breathe.


It’s something I had been thinking about for the past several weeks, but something I had yet to bring myself to say and do—until today.


Over commitment had gotten the best of me and I was feeling a bit like a Stretch Armstrong Doll, to say the least.




I often wish there were more hours in the day, so I could conquer the world and be home by dinnertime.


However, those hours never seem to come, and you know what?


You (and I) DON’T have to do it all.


In fact, the more you try to do it all, the more UNFULFILLED you will feel in the daily grind towards achievement and approval from others (it’s never satisfied).


As I direct my thoughts and attune my actions with the things in my life that truly matter—the easier it is to cut through the clutter, spend time wisely, and say “No” to those things that don’t line up with my priorities and goals.


Your challenge?


Just say “No” to something that is draining you or not building into your self-care, your goals or your priorities this week.


Let me know how it goes.


And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.-Philippians 4:19




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