The Tao of NO!


Are you a people pleaser? Are you always in giving and healing others mode? Are you inclined to say YES every time someone asks you for a favor or to do something for them? Do you take time for yourself or are you always responding to other people’s needs and wants? Do you give away your valuable time and services because you can’t say NO? If so, you are a healer and it might be time to explore the Tao of NO!

A friend recently told me he was in a “receptive NO mode” and frankly I completely understand what he is saying. For the most part I do believe most of us are givers. We take on and solve problems for our friends, family, bosses, clients and customers. No one likes conflict and so in the essence of keeping the peace and helping we try to make everyone happy.

In business there are times we give away our services to those perhaps less fortunate and on a personal level it feels pretty good to help or give advice to a friend. We do this out of love and/or because we strive to be responsible for our own actions and enjoy giving. There is nothing wrong with doing any of those things BUT if you lose yourself in the process, there is nothing loving, giving or valiant about it!

In fact when you give or give away your most valuable resource (ie your energy) because you can’t say NO you are training people to continue asking for more. In essence you allow them to become senior (more important) in your space and eventually whatever has become senior will take its toll. It might be that your work life is thriving but your relationships suffer. It could be that your caring for others affects your health and well-being or leaves you with little time for yourself. It is possible that you are struggling financially yet someone else needs your product or services and can’t afford to pay you so you give it away to help them out.

The Tao is the flow of the universe

It is the “pattern behind the natural world that keeps the universe balanced and ordered.” (via Wikipedia)  Always saying YES is an ‘absolute’ which creates an imbalance and takes you out of your flow. Keep in mind this is about YOU taking care of YOU and your needs. It’s about re-establishing balance and creating boundaries by connecting with your inner NO!

It IS ok to say no!

Do you give yourself permission to say no? I promise your life will not spontaneously combust if you say it every now and again. 🙂 What I loved about my friends comment about being in a receptive NO mode is that he is taking back his seniority and no longer allowing others to TAKE his time and energy. He is receptive to what is asked of him yet at the same time he is realizing how important it is to take care of himself by occasionally saying no. He is choosing to give instead of always being at the ‘beck and call’ of others.

Check in with yourself and evaluate who or what has become senior to you. You have a right to take time for and care for yourself. You have a right to make a living but be sure to include having a life. Givers and healers you have a right to create boundaries. This is what balance is all about and sometimes saying NO frees up your time and energy so you can be in your flow and say YES to YOU and the things that are important to you!~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2011-2013 All rights reserved

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10 comments on “The Tao of NO!

  1. My wife and I recently took a moment to seperately write down all the things we valued most in life, then we ranked them in order. Then we gave each other permission to say no to those things that weren’t on our list, or didn’t rank very high. By saying no to those non-important things, we are taking time to focus on the parts of our lives that are important.

  2. Wow…me right on the nose…my patients take advantage all the time…I’m so concerned that they get well that I miss the fact that it is just as much their responsibility…I enable their “fix me” attitude, and often find I care more about their problems than do they…as a healthcare provider for some 20 years, how do I get out of the sympathy mode and into the empathy one?

    • Thanks for your comment Don. One way to shift the dynamic is to ask THEM what it is they would like to get out of their session both short term and long term. Also ask what steps they have taken to support the help you are giving them. That said, you might want to take a journey into your own self to find out why you enable them in the first place. It’s not really about them it’s about you. Healers have it the hardest I think because we know people can heal and it’s difficult when we see someone not taking responsibility for caring for themselves (assuming of course they CAN take care of themselves). 🙂

  3. Healers and teachers both! I know so many teachers that are working thier butts off to help students without ever asking the student to help themselves. Our nation’s current ideas about the role of teachers in education isn’t helping either.

  4. Pingback: When saying YES to others is saying NO to you… | Daily Muse

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