How To Yes And No For Success

Many of us feel overwhelmed at times with all the things that are on our plate. When we stop and look at the plate we often see things that we said yes to that we are less than excited about. And stuck in overwhelm we may also lack joy in the things we “yesed”.


You may “Yes” as the thing is something to make a life better. It may be a day to day task (e.g., laundry, raking leaves), work related (e.g., writing a report, sending an email), or something you feel obligated to do (e.g., a fundraiser, or returning a favor).

Once you have agreed to them decide to put your time and energy into them when you do them. Refusing to split your energy between the present moment and what you should have said instead of “yes”, and how it will all pan out, will help you to engage in the Now. 

Engage your senses – see the color of the leaves and hear the sound of the rake, feel the keys under your fingers as you type, soak in the gratitude that flows through your pen, feel your muscles engage as you move, allow your smile to grow as you help out. 

Enjoy the wonder of what you are doing, how your body and mind works to make that happen, and how your spirit feels.

Say “Yes”to the thing, but also to the full experience of that moment.



Sometimes we just need some No’s in our life. We can “No” to other’s requests as well as our own personal expectations and demands.

When a situation comes up stop, breathe, then scan your body for how it feels and what images or words come into your mind.

Do you feel butterflies or a tightness in your throat, do you see yourself begrudgingly doing the thing you agreed to, or are you aware that doing the thing would actually add nothing positive to your life? 

If you decide that it is not helpful for you, or them, to Yes the moment, then you can opt for No. 

How do you “No”? Just say it!

You do not have to deliver a list of reasons why you cannot and should not do it, draw up your schedule on a white board to show them how you spend your time in worthy ways, or write a report justifying your worth and defining your good character. Just say “No”. 

Before you deliver the “No” give a little space – Breathe, open your heart, and then deliver it from a place of compassion. The compassion is for yourself as well as them.

For some, your “No” gives them the gift of transformation – aka figuring out how to do something on their own, or calling on someone else (and in turn gifting someone else the chance to step in or up).

This could be a friend that learns how to budget when you don’t lend them money, a parent that calls on a different child that is less active in their life, or a colleague that is given the report to write and a chance to shine. 

Yes, of course in all of those cases it could go “wrong” and the thing not get done in the way that you envision it. However, maybe what transpires is exactly what was meant to and the lesson learned by them is as it should be.

You gifted that life lesson to them with your “No”, as well as gifting yourself a clearer plate/freedom from self-imposed obligation. 

Gently take control of what goes on your plate and also how you engage with the things on it. 

What do you think – Yes or No?

Yours in empowerment

Big Love – Emma & Alan

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