Just. Say. No. Or… (what a family card game can teach us about AUDACITY).

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Babes, those New Year vibes haven’t quite kicked in for us yet… We’ve been leaning on the games we got into playing over Xmas quite a lot (apart from when we are scouring 17 platforms across 2 children trying to workout what they are meant to be learning, of course).

One of our faves is Monopoly Deal, the card version of the board game. I’d highly recommend it, by the way- it’s basically taught my 4 year old to add and subtract. The most coveted card of all, the one they pray to the universe for whilst I’m dealing, is the JUST SAY NO card.

The idea is, when someone goes to charge you rent, or to trade a property with you, you can, as you’re probably imagining, JUST. SAY. NO.

Every time we play the game, I wish I could print one of these for every woman in the land. Or, you know, something more eco. What’s so brilliant about it is the unapologetic way in which it’s used. Not just unapologetic- SMUG. Celebratory.

Usually, our response is only celebrated (by ourselves and others) if it includes, YES, I will give that to you. Sure! No probs! Count me in! Yep!

Saying no often leaves us in fear of being judged as cold, selfish and uncaring. Saying no is a breeding ground for a whole lotta “Who does she think she is?!”.

When someone pulls out a Just Say No in the game, it’s understood to be part of the rules- allowed, encouraged, inevitable. There’s a sense of, “she’d be mad not to use it” because it’s within her power. At her disposal. Her right.

Well guess what! It’s no different in real life. It’s at your disposal. It doesn’t mean anything about you. It’s just neutral, normal behaviour. Normalise saying no.

Some tips for you:

  1. New phraseology. Whilst you absolutely can just say “no”, if you’re used to overextending yourself, it’s gonna feel like a big leap. Alternatives like, “I don’t have the capacity for that right now”, “I can’t make myself available for that, maybe another time”, “my other commitments prevent me from helping you with this”, etc, can be helpful.
  2. Practice/ experiment. (Notice which term feels lighter and more playful, and frame it that way for yourself). What are some scenarios that feel a bit of a stretch, but not massively high risk, where you could try out saying no? Maybe whatsapp feels easier than phone call? Maybe it’s easier with your mum than your friends? Start with the conversations that feel most achievable, and build your confidence and self- trust from there.
  3. Prioritise self trust. What I mean by this is, be clear; each time you come away feeling and thinking “I wish I’d said no instead”, you erode trust with yourself. Note that being able to trust yourself is a key driver of your self worth, and self love. You wouldn’t be keen on a pal or partner who let you down, over and over. So rather than giving all your attention to the disappointment the other person might be experiencing…
  4. Be more willing to disappoint others than you are to disappoint yourself. This doesn’t mean that we NEVER do ANYTHING we don’t want. We live in families, communities, societies, and to an extent, we are responsible for supporting one another. But you KNOW that feeling don’t you-the difference between consciously compromising, and saying yes because you’re worried what will happen if you don’t? And then stewing. It tends to last a lot longer than the momentary awkwards of declining.

There you go then babes. I’d love to hear from you if you enjoy putting these into practice.

Now, more than ever, we need to find the audacity to protect our emotional and energetic wellbeing.

Big love to you gals,

KJ xx

PS in light of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, I’ve decided to postpone the start of Audacity: The Mastermind until w.c. 1st Feb. If you’re beginning to think you could do with some coaching, mentoring and momentum, let’s chat. It’ll be my honour to be in your pocket February, March and April.

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