Pat on the head

[success]Have the courage to say no.  Have the courage to face the truth.  Do the right thing because it is right.  These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. ~ W. Clement Stone[/success]

It’s taken a while, but I think I finally got it.  Just like Eliza of My Fair Lady fame, “By George I think she’s got it.”  What earth shattering thing can I finally do?  Can I climb mountain peaks?  Err, no, I still have a fear of heights.  Can I participate in Iron Man competitions.  A definite no.  Can I bring world peace.  Sadly, no.  Nothing so grand.

What I can do, which in the scheme of things isn’t exactly monumental, but in my life can be categorized in the wow zone, is say “No”, with grace and ease.


I didn’t get here overnight, believe me.  For years I suffered because of over-commitment…I couldn’t quite bring myself to say that tiny little word.  Or I said it too late and surprise, surprise, I caused annoyance and irritation.

I wanted to say no, often, but some belief I had wouldn’t let me.  My mind said noooo, my lips said “I’d love to” …help you move, go to that awful event with you, cook you dinner, watch a football game.  Football?  Heck no…that was a bridge to far, even for a wimp like me.

Saying ‘yes’ too quickly got me into more trouble than I want to talk about here, it was instinctive…I said it and the cringe came later, and the whinge and the regret.  Then I had to wriggle out of it, if I could, or live with it and my annoyance with myself.  And the time between November and the end of the December was the worst of all.  So many things happening, so many calls on my time, so many chances to say no…that I missed out on.

Now.  Aha, that’s a different story.  It feels like this:

The Leap

Want to know what I did?  All those challenging years wiped out, not with a stroke of the pen, but with a smidgeon of time.  I gave myself the gift of time.  I had a stock response ready.  “Not sure if I’m free/if I can do that/let me check my calendar/ask my Darling One.”  

Any, sometimes all of the above were used until they became second nature.  The first time I tried it, I couldn’t breathe.  The second time I held my breath.  The third time I smiled and now it’s totally natural.  Funny thing is, no-one gets irritated or annoyed anymore. I finally got it…yeah.

Encourage one another

Love Elle

photo credit Jesse Gardner


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. I understand the process of learning to say “no” without guilt.
    And so, I am amazed at my little grandyoungin, who at 5 is very comfortable saying “no” and “no thanks” to her peers as well as to adults. She has already mastered it and that will benefit her for the rest of her life !

    • Elle

      Isn’t that great. Fantastic confidence and self worth. Good for her and her parents.

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