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Episode 78 – What If Saying No Really Meant Saying Yes

What If Saying No Really Meant Saying Yes - Alice Agnello

I'm tired of ALWAYS saying no.

Hey there Beautiful,

I had an epiphany the other day and I thought I would share it with you since I can’t be the only woman who thinks this way.

I’ve come to believe that I’m the ‘no’ person in our family.

My personality, attitude, and perspective of life has always been to be a bit more cautious, thoughtful, and strategic before I jump.

It could be taking a vacation, looking for a new job, or posting a photo on social media. I think of ALL the different scenarios that could occur before I make a decision because my brain, of course, wants to keep me very safe.

I realized I say no ALOT . . .

I think it started with having kids and the number of times that I had to say ‘no’ to them.

  • “No, I’m not buying you the $450 Lego set.” 
  • “No, don’t use the good towels to wash the dogs!”
  • “No, you can’t tie dye that t-shirt on the kitchen table!”
  • “No! No more Xbox! Go to bed.”
  • “No, you may not build a bonfire in the backyard.”

And yes all of those occurred at my house over the years.

When you say 'no' enough, it becomes a habit and the default answer for EVERYTHING!

After a while, saying ‘no’ then sneakily became my habit.

I’ve even told my family that I HATE being the one who always says ‘no.’

The one that has to wrangle their grand ideas back to reality.

That’s not to say that I don’t encourage my family to think big and go after what they want. I just want them to have a strategy on how to accomplish it first to make me feel better.

I know, I know, it’s their life and I have to stay out of it.

But it’s really hard to keep my opinions to myself and sometimes my tongue hurts from biting back the words that I want to say.

The strength of my 'noes' have gotten softer over the years.

I’ve noticed that my ‘no’s’ have been softened over time and now sound like this:

  • “I don’t think it’s a good idea to quit your job without having a new one first.”
  • “If I were you, I would save my money and not buy the new iPhone since the one you have is from last year and perfectly fine.”
  • “Well maybe you should try to go to bed earlier so you won’t be so tired the next day at work.”
  • “Could you possibly stop washing my clothes with your dirty, smelly, work clothes?
  • “Yes, I love you but I’m not asking your grandmother to drive all the way up there with her truck just in case you might possibly buy a couch for your apartment off Facebook Marketplace when you haven’t even contacted the seller yet to see if they still have the couch!”

Yep, still giving my opinion when someone asks for it.

And then I had an epiphany.

So because I feel that I’m a ‘no’ person I’ve become more aware of how many times I do say ‘no’ to myself and this is what my epiphany was all about.

I’m trying to get back into exercising on a regular basis. When the coronavirus pandemic began, my bootcamp class went online, which was great, for the first couple of weeks.

But I noticed it just wasn’t the same.

The class couldn’t be exactly the same because I don’t have the same equipment, like battle ropes or a TRX machine.

I felt like I wasn’t giving it my all like I would if I was at the spacious gym sweating to death instead of my cramped and heavily carpeted living room.

It is really hard to do jumping jacks on thick carpet.

I then had to stop all exercise for a while due to a back injury and it needed A LOT of time to heal. And if you were like me, from March until even now, being home all the time inevitably led me to eat more and move less.

And the pounds began to creep up slowly.

So like I said, I’m trying to get back on track with exercise and healthy eating. I decided to stop my bootcamp class and just go to our local gym.

Am I really saying 'no' or is it actually a 'yes' to something that I want more?

The exercise is an easy yes for me.

I get up early, go to the gym, exercise on the elliptical, use the weights, and then come home. I like going early since there are less people to possibly be in my space.

And then for the rest of the day and especially when I go to the grocery store, it’s a constant ‘no’ being repeated in my head. 

  • “No, you don’t need to eat those tortilla chips.”
  • “No, you don’t need to buy the Twix candies because they’re buy-one-get-one-half-off.”
  • “No, you don’t need to eat a spoonful of peanut butter covered in chocolate chips.”
  • “No, you don’t need to buy the cinnamon raisin bread.”
  • “No, you don’t need to pop popcorn because you are avoiding writing this week’s podcast episode.”

I know I can say ‘yes’ to ANY of those items, especially the spoonful of peanut butter covered with chocolate chips.

But the point is, I’m trying to eat less and move more.

So for a while, I need to choose better options or no option at all since I know I eat when I’m bored or want to avoid doing something that I don’t want to do.

Here's my epiphany.

So my epiphany came when I was once again mulling over how much I say ‘no’ to myself when it dawned on me:  what if I’m not saying ‘no’ but I should be saying ‘yes’?

What if I reframe it so that I’m saying yes to reaching my goal of getting stronger.

What if I’m saying yes to taking care of my body so that I don’t end up flat on my back on the couch again with shooting pain from my back to the bottom of my feet.

I’m just making a decision, every time that I say ‘no’ to a particular food, that I’m really saying yes to having definition on my arms or yes to my jeans NOT digging into the extra rolls also known as a muffin top on my stomach.

I'm saying 'yes' to something that I really, really want!

I’m now calling myself out when the word ‘no’ flashes across my brain to stop and say, “Yes to getting stronger.”

That’s my new mantra.

“Yes to getting stronger.”

I’m not making this about losing so many pounds or fitting into a certain dress or pair of pants. I want to be stronger so I have less aches and pains and can go back to carrying in six bags of groceries from my car to the house.

How can you turn those perceived 'noes' into 'yeses?"

So I tell you this in the hope that you too may be the ‘no’ person in your family and to make a game of how you can turn those ‘noes’ into ‘YESES.’

What do you always say ‘no’ to especially with yourself?

How can you turn that ‘no’ around and think about what you’re saying ‘yes’ to instead?

So yes, I'm tired. But I'm going to keep choosing hope and happiness.

Just a few more months until we can say that 2020 is behind us.

I know that on Dec. 31st my fairy godmother is not going to wave her magic wand and make everything perfect.

But if I keep saying two more months, it somehow makes it easier for me to keep going.

To keep saying yes to silliness, laughter, and having a sense of humor. To keep choosing happiness when I open my eyes each morning and to know that we WILL get through the rest of 2020 together.

I’ll talk to you later, Beautiful!

If you do want some extra support from some amazing women be sure to join my free Facebook group, Kids Are Grown, NOW WHAT? There are questions that you have to answer in order to gain access to the group so be sure to answer the ones that are required.

Thanks for listening!

Share your thoughts with me or ask a question about this episode. Send an email.

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Alice Agnello, Lifestyle and Success Coach

I'm Alice Agnello.

I’m a California raised, incurable romantic who was too snarky for the corporate world. I love show tunes, chai tea, and all things British. My mission? To help women rediscover who they are, after their kids have grown.

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I want the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

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Before you go, get the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

Sign up to receive my whitty newsletters, tips & tricks, promotions, & other emails, & receive this free guide!