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The Power of Being a “No Man”

February 15th, 2009 by Ryan

Are we more empowered when we say "Yes" or "No" to life?

What role does our peer group play in our ability to choose?

How do we manage our energy in such a way that each choice strengthens us and improves our life?

I recently had a chance to see the movie "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey and I gotta say I really enjoyed it.

It's good to see him back doing comedies again and it's also good to see a movie with an overall positive message and uplifting vibration.

One thing that amused me during the film was the whole concept of being a "Yes Man" and how Jim Carrey's character seemed to empower himself and improve his life by saying "Yes" to more and more requests from others.

It was funny because, in my experience, it has been the complete opposite.

Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a good side to being open to life and to be able to give a full yes with all of our being, yet I've come to learn that this is only possible if we can also give a full no if the situation calls for it.

"No" is one of the most empowering words in the human language. 

The Power of Being a No Man, The Yin and Yang of ChoiceEvery time we take back our power, we say "No" to something we are no longer choosing and in that moment we are becoming conscious.

In those times when we say "No" to something that we have unconsciously said "Yes" to for all the years past, we are waking up and reclaiming a part of our spirit.

In every full "No", there is the seed of a full "Yes" to something else.

When we have the inner strength to say "No", it is because we have decided what we are no longer willing to accept in our life, and instead, we have figured out what we do want in life and we will not compromise our spirit in the meantime for anything less.

Many of us fall into doing things because they are easy, comfortable, and safe, even though they are not what our soul longs for.

We often do things because that's how everyone does it in our social group and we've never consciously chosen these things for ourselves.

Other times we do things because those we depend on choose for us and we may not be strong enough to withstand their disapproval or rejection.

In all of these situations, when we gather enough courage to break free from these outside authorities and consciously choose for ourselves, often it is in the form of a solid and unwavering "No".

Saying "No" is like a tool for inner energy management, a door that we close to all things that are not in alignment with our inner being.

It is the guardian of our inner integrity; a way to silence the cries of need that come out of fear and insecurity.

What you say "No" to in life determines how you use this divine currency known as choice.

Let me give you an example to illustrate this idea.

For many years during college and afterwards, I would party with my friends at bars, clubs and other events.  We drank a lot of alcohol, of course.  In fact, it didn't matter as much where we went so long that we got drunk and had a good time.

I had many good times doing this (though my health was suffering), yet I don't really remember there being a point where I said "Yes, I'm choosing this drinking/partying lifestyle" (from a deeper level, that is).  I just sort of fell into it since this is how everyone in my social group did it.

Only this past year did I start to question this pattern of excessive drinking and start to separate myself from it.  I soon realized that almost everything revolved around drinking and that there were many "issues" under the surface that pushed one to drink. 

As I healed these "issues" within me through constant use of things like EFT, TAT, Holosync, and other spiritual practices, I started to not feel so driven to drink.

I also realized that I was not honoring my body, my physical tool for bringing divinity into physical form, by drinking so much.

Eventually I realized that I felt so good normally (both physically and because of the self-love), that drinking actually made me feel worse without any of the "high" that I used to get.

After I realized this, it became time to strengthen my backbone…by saying "No".  

I began to turn away drinks, or spend nights out with friends at bars and clubs completely sober.

Sure, I would get flack from the guys about not drinking and at the beginning I would sometimes cave and drink a few, but eventually my inner "No" became more powerful than their outer "Yes".

(In fact, I think that sometimes our friends will put a lot of pressure on us if we try to improve our lives  because it subtly means that they will have to face all the issues they have been avoiding or denying in themselves, but that is another story).

Now it's at the point where any outer "Yes" is so quiet, if someone throws one out there or tries to pressure me in anyway, I either laugh it off or don't even give it a second thought.

One thing that I notice as I hang out with my friends while embodying this choice to not drink, is that just by my example and presence, something in them is waking up.  They are starting to question this need to drink, yet now they have someone who can anchor this reality for them.

I truly believe the most powerful catalyst for change comes from living the change yourself.

Your example, as communicated by your presence alone, is potent enough to wake up the hearts of those around you (even though their minds may resist you at first).

The way to embody your powerful presence starts with consciously choosing "No" to all things that drain you.

This applies not just to addictions but also to relationships, thought patterns, habits, and any area of your life where your power of choice resides outside of you.

Keep in mind, also, that I'm not saying "No" to alcohol itself, but rather to a tribal belief system or the way in which alcohol is used.

We never say "No" to the specific substances, person or activity at hand, we are saying "No" to the energy field which determines the role these things play in our life.

In my case, I was not saying "No" to the alcohol because "it's wrong to drink alcohol" or anything like that, I was saying "No" to the underlying energy field that subconsciously says that alcohol is the way to have fun and is the answer to life's problems.

See, this is where people get caught up.  They think that breaking free of an addiction means never using that drug again or never seeing that person to whom they've given away their power.

So they avoid that specific substance or person and think they are healed or "clean", until one day they find a new substance or enter a new relationship and they find themselves in the same addictive power struggle all over again.

The root cause is never the outer substance or person (they are just a trigger), it's the underlying energy field that we have not yet evolved out of; the context of how one relates to the world.

Make one conscious choice to let go of a type of addiction and you've let them all go, for good.

Two people can be having a beer in the same bar, yet be in two completely different worlds on the inside.

The path of empowerment comes to us as a process of waking up to this inner world and using this awareness to make better choices; one's that lead to peace, happiness, and self-love.

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16 Responses to “The Power of Being a “No Man””

  1. Logan Says:

    I really like this article!
    Quite a while ago I said no to alcohol and it’s really funny that noone can actually be in a good mood without drinking.
    Here’s an issue I’m facing right now: I’m often hanging out with girls I don’t like that much. I feel I should walk away and meet girls I like better but I often stay to not make them feel bad. But actually I’m only hurting myself.

  2. Flirt Says:

    some good ideas here. Indeed I have too discovered the power of no. makes you feel in control.

    Flirts last blog post..Remove limiting thinking

  3. Tania Says:

    This is a wonderful post, you brought in so many points about “no”. Reclaiming our energy is so empowering. Addictive behavior is us giving away our personal power, this can be anything including alcohol, relationships, food… we are looking for something outside of ourselves to make us complete yet by doing so we are actually becoming even less whole. We need to realize that we are complete within ourselves.

  4. Justice Marshall Says:

    Great insights as always Ryan.

    What I get from this is that YES is often easier (and less powerful) than NO because it moves in the same direction as inertia.

    Here are a few of my flashes:
    1. When I say NO to something, I’m always saying YES to something else.
    2. Each person has a natural orientation toward either YES or NO depending on their type of personality or life strategy system. Bringing consciousness to this is always liberating.
    3. We often settle for a lower form of the nourishment or freedom that we REALLY want. When we say no to “settling,” we open ourselves up to bigger possibilities of getting what we truly want.

    Thanks Man!

  5. Dr. Post Says:

    You stated that “In every full “No”, there is the seed of a full “Yes” to something else.” How true – shows you how powerful the Yin/Yang science really is and how it relates to life.

    Thanks for sharing your story. You are by far my favorite blogger!

  6. Frank Says:

    Mhhhmm, yeah I seldom drink these days, besides I went to spring break this week. I think it’ll be a bit strange if you don’t drink anything on these occassions. Alcohol raises your level of consciousness, so you are more free from fear and approval seeking and that’s the reason for drugs: a temporary high. When you mastered your inner game it will be of no use anyway. …. subjectively it feels like i calibrate at the beginning of the 500s when i’m drunk.;-)

    Franks last blog post..Teasing vs. CF vs. Negging

  7. Plastic Surgery Says:

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  9. Ryan Says:

    Hey Logan, thanks for the good words. Its very interesting to be fully there in social situations where alcohol is a crucial element, its pretty eye opening. As for hanging out with girls you dont like, it may be that you have an attachment (like many of us, myself included to some degree) to what others think.

    Growing up in this culture, we often find ourselves taking responsibility for other people’s emotions. Its incredibly freeing to commit to letting other people have their stuff, while owning our own stuff. This of course, also takes into account honoring others as best we can. Honoring is all about allowing others to feel and be just the way they are, and using that as a starting point.

    Also, many times us guys use girls that we arent really interested in as a crutch to hold our ego up when we are feeling insecure. I know I have allowed myself to stay in relationships that were like this and once I ended them, I freed up an enormous amount of energy and inner power.

    Flirt, yeah that can be true, for me, saying no is really about choice more than control. Choice implies self responsibility, whereas sometimes control can sometimes involve others outside of ourself.

    Tania, thanks for the feedback, you just summed up the whole article in just a few sentences 🙂

    Justice, exactly! Yes, we overcome inertia by saying no, that allows us to initiate conscious choice in our life and definitely opens us up to new opportunity (that we can’t see until we make the choice).

    Hey Dr. Post, thanks man! yeah I was wondering if anyone would catch that, yeah the yin yang relationship is very powerful when we start to look for it.

    Hey Frank, well as I have come to understand it, alcohol doesn’t directly raise your level of consciousness, it simply removes all the anxiety and other negative emotions that are holding it down.

    The only downside to alcohol and other drugs is that, since it has come from outside of us, there is a energy blackhole type effect afterwards where our energy gets drained by the drug. We experience this as a hangover, which can then lead to more use of the drug, then more hangover, leading to the cycle. I agree, once we get the inner stuff handled, there really is no point to drinking, since if we are already “drunk” on life, why even waste the money and the hangover.

  10. Sofia Baker Says:

    my cousin broke her nose on a bad bike accident and he got a nose job.~’:

  11. Woom Says:

    I have become more frequent and harder to say no when i became older, before that I wanted to be together with friends and do the same they do…

  12. Cameron Rogers Says:

    asians like to have rhinoplasty because they want taller and thinner noses.`*-

  13. marta Says:

    I agree. I think we derive a lot of our discipline from the word no.
    That no opens doors to other choices is something i had not considered before. thanks for the insight

  14. Carmine Flores Says:

    Learning No Man is really good since we can identify changes by strength and power.

  15. Allison Ward Says:

    Thanks for this information. Now I know more about No Man.

  16. Mike Elias Says:

    I completely agree with this idea — I went through a time in life where I found it very rewarding to quit less crucial commitments and turn down less exciting offers. It just narrowed and focused my attention on the things I really wanted to do and have in my life.

    Also, I just finished reading Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister, who writes that one of the strongest uses of willpower is in self-control — saying “no.” We’ve often been taught these days that the way to succeed is by saying yes and giving your all, but it wastes energy like an unfocused laser. No is the way to go — I think for men in particular whose spiritual potency is heightened through this sort of focus.

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