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Access Point: Say Yes to Saying No

"Saying 'no' as a reaction is the pushing away of another. But saying 'no' as a response is a movement toward embracing ourselves."

- James McPartland


Photo: Jakub Jirsak

Most of us tend to say "yes" far too often, and frequently without our conscious awareness of doing so. We agree to follow up, get together, advance an initiative, share a book, go to a party, call someone back, or provide someone with honest feedback. Even when we are aware that we’re saying "yes" when we actually mean "no”, we justify it in the moment and promise ourselves to address the "yes" at a later date. It’s not that we intend to mislead anyone; we just don't want to have the potentially uncomfortable conversation around saying "no". Yet in retrospect, when we don't do what we committed to, we really said "no" and disguised it as a "yes" because we were trying to be nice.


While it may temporarily feel good, we ultimately feel bad when we don't do what we said we would do. Being true to ourselves by saying "yes" to our highest priorities and values is fundamental to the care and feeding of our souls. When we say “no”, we are not rejecting another, we are accepting and strengthening our authentic selves.

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James McPartland

22431 Antonio Parkway, B160-419

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, 92688

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James McPartland | Keynote Speaker, Author, Executive Coach