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More is Not Always Better; Why It's Necessary to say NO

Danai Gurira, Playwright and Actress, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Jess Weiner speak during the Unstereotype Alliance Global Member Summit 2022 at United Nations on November 18, 2022 in NYC. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/ Getty Images for Unstereotype Alliance)

Capitalism sells us the idea that MORE is better.

More Money. More Achievements. More Things.

More experiences to brag about on social media with perfect hashtags and curated photos. But what if we could consider the concept of ENOUGH.

How much money is enough for you to live a life in alignment with your values?

How many achievements is enough for you to feel worthy and accomplished?

How many things do you really need to feel like you have enough?

Important questions to ask yourself as you determine your own boundaries and vision for your life. This helps to unplug from what culture will try to “sell you”.

When you are obsessed with more it can feel like you never get ahead.

In fact, this is often called the "FODA" effect (Fear Of Doing Anything).

The irony is that in the pursuit of MORE — you can feel less connected.

And therefore stuck.

We can end up hiding parts of our lives out of fear of judgment or rejection.

Of never being…ENOUGH.

Saying "No" is a Skill that Takes Practice

I’m always looking for ways to improve myself as a leader and entrepreneur and as my career has grown I’ve found myself taking on more and more projects, commitments, and responsibilities.

It is so tricky to think being busy or having more means you are successful.

Truth was, I may have had the things I thought would make me happy but what I didn’t have was a connection to myself.

So when I started to say NO to more things in order to create more space in my life I asked myself three things:

  1. What is the vision I have for myself right now? If the thing I was considering doing didn’t fit in - it was a no.

  2. Will doing this make me happy? If it wasn’t a yes, it was a HELL NO.

  3. Will I learn something from this? Sometimes we do things out of obligation. I wanted my yes’s to lead me towards more self-development.

Just asking myself these questions before buying something or committing to something helped me to find my center and remember how to protect my time.

I recently did an interview with Danai Gurira (known for The Walking Dead + Wakanda Forever) at the UnStereotype Alliance Summit (held at the United Nations HQ in NYC).

I loved this moment when she spoke about her own journey to saying “NO” and how she has used the word to create space in her life for what she desired.

ICYMI: I am a founding ally partner of the Unstereotype Alliance with UN Women.

"No" is a Complete Sentence

So in our journey to create more space for ourselves, to slow down, to consider what is ENOUGH in our lives….consider saying NO…more. It’s not rude, it's not impolite, and it's not going to break the world. It may disappoint someone. But sometimes you have to do that to be true to yourself.

At the end of the day, doing less AND saying No can be a good thing for your mental health. My friend Kimeko, Senior Marketing Reporter at Digiday, had the best outlook for this new year!


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