No Is A Complete Sentence

Can you imagine your world if this were true?

It’s a practice for me. Sometimes “no” painfully means “yes,” and “yes” begrudgingly means “no.” Oh, and there’s: “No… kay.”

It’s exhausting.

I do a LOT of inner work and I’m crazy reflective of my mental and emotional experience. Interestingly, I have an pretty hard time setting boundaries.

Truth be told, I would love to answer a flat out “NO” when that’s what I really wanted. But the thought of actually doing that makes me shaky. My heart seriously skips a beat. Why do I get so consumed in pleasing others?

It all comes down to the story I’m believing about myself.

It’s that simple. (In concept, not necessarily in practice!!)

If I’m being a yes’er then I’m probably motivated to keep peace and make others happy. 

What could possibly be wrong with this? It’s noble. It’s lovely. It’s what keeps the world going ‘round.

What’s wrong is that if I have a fear running in the background:

  • “I’m not good enough…”
  • “I need to be perfect to be loved…”
  • “I’m unworthy…”
  • “I’m stupid…”
  • “I’m incompetent…”
  • “I’m <insert anything that feels terrible> ….

then NO becomes YES and YES becomes NO.  I’ll do whatever I can to keep myself from facing an icky self-interpretation I don’t want others to decide about me either. Therefore, I don’t say what I mean or mean what I say in service to making myself appear worthy and acceptable. I feel bad because I’m believing something false (e.g. I need to make others happy to be loved) and I end up sacrificing my well being to hide this false belief from myself and others. I suffer.

But when I’m standing for who I really am and what I’m really up to, then NO is a complete sentence.

At any point in time we have two options:

We claim our as-is perfection. We live our essence of being – the real you and me – that’s rooted in love and life: strength, wisdom, love, joy, clarity, brilliance, effervescence, compassion, connection, freedom, nurturer… whatever those qualities might be.


We believe a false idea that’s draining or feels awful – a self-interpretation we took on early in life because some shit happened. Out of fear we decided: “I’m unlovable,” “I’m unworthy,” “I need to stand out to be admired…” etc.

IF we choose to live from our essence and stand strong in our being, then there isn’t sticky context around “no” because we’re standing for something larger and not trying to compensate for some unserving belief about ourselves. It will mean saying yes to certain things and no to others. And because our stance is rooted in authenticity then no justification or apology is needed.

Try this practice to say NO when that’s what you really want to say:

    • Get clear on who you are. Figure out your unique qualities that are rooted in love and life. You’ll know they’re right if it feels good to declare.


    • Take a stand for these qualities. If these qualities are who you are, then it follows that you stand for them. Deliberately do so. For example, I’m clear that my essence is of joy, clarity, wisdom, and empowerment. As such, I stand for these. When I’m living my essence then everything I think, say, and do are in service to joy, clarity, wisdom, and empowerment. It’s the stand I take in life.


    • Live from your stance. Root yourself in your truth of being and have faith that your thoughts, words, and actions are congruent with your stance. Expect no difficulty in setting your boundaries, affirming your needs, or stating your truth – because you’ll KNOW that this is all for something larger. Something real and true.Do these three things and you’ll inevitably…


    • Say what you mean and mean what you say.

If we’re having a hard time saying no when we mean no and yes when we mean yes, then it’s because our thoughts and actions are arising from some self-sabotaging idea about ourselves and the world we’re creating as a result.

Check it out for yourself. Next time you’re struggling with saying “no,” notice what’s really preventing you from asserting your needs. I’ll guarantee it’s a voice inside saying you’re not worthy of having what you want. It’s a voice falsely insisting something’s wrong with you.

So let’s claim our as-is perfection. “I am, and I am enough.” Let’s declare the stand we take and line up with it. Let’s resolutely be the inherent love and life we are and know that our inclinations therefore inevitably line up. There is nothing to justify when you’re real. There is nothing to apologize for when you’re you. “No” is a complete sentence.

Now I want to hear from you! Can you say “no” when you really mean it? What gets in your way if not? Or, if you’re awesome at saying it like it is then what advice to do you have for those of us who struggle with this? Put yourself out on the raw and ragged edge and share your experience around setting boundaries. Thanks in advance for being vulnerable and brave today.

Amy Eliza Wong is a life coach, writer, and speaker in the Sacramento, CA area committed to helping people figure out what makes them tick so they can finally live with joy and real purpose. Learn more about working with her.

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