Give Yourself Permission To Say NO

“We must say “no” to what, in our heart, we don’t want. We must say “no” to doing things out of obligation, thereby cheating those important to us of the purest expression of our love. We must say “no” to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else’s…”

― Suzette R. Hinton, author of The Sound Of My Life.

As a practising physician, I see a lot of misery and struggle, conflict and self-doubt. It can be quite dangerous, as I have written elsewhere. The person who tends to get cancer—the so-called “cancer personality”—is someone who gives little priority to self, is a people pleaser, self-effacing and overburdened with care for others.

Basically such a person has no life of their own; she (usually female) is so busy running around after other people, she has no time for her own needs and desires. Yet such a person will rarely complain. They bottle up their frustration and that’s what is dangerous. Stress has to come out some way or other. If it doesn’t come out with yelling and demanding attention, it just manifests in a different direction: typically a disease, such as blood pressure, heart attack, or the dreaded cancer.


A little known study carried out some years ago looked at this issue and found certain women had a great deal of trouble saying “No”. Even if what was demanded was something she didn’t like, even hated, she would go ahead and comply anyway. But this is an act of injury against the self. It may be justified as duty or “helping others” but it is still an injurious willingness to ignore the self and its needs.

Saying NO reduces stress considerably!

The researchers took the typical cancer personality case and had the woman practice saying “No!” to things she didn’t like, and sticking to it. The results of this intervention were startling. The women who said NO (and meant it) lived many years longer, on average, than those who could not bring themselves to do it. Continue reading

Don’t Let The Future Kill The Now

The Gap

The discipline we call “Solutions Focus” has a very fine point to make. We ask how things are on a scale of 1—10 and then, instead of asking, “Why isn’t it a ten?” we ask, “Why isn’t it a one?”

Say your life is a 3. Well, you must have some things going right… after all, it isn’t a 1 or a 0! So there must be some resources you can use. Look at what’s working in your life and start to build on that.

In other words, you look at solutions, instead of problems; what you have, instead of what you don’t have.

If you ask how to get to a 10, that will likely depress you. But ask how to get to a 4 and it will seem very doable.

A chunked down version of this life hack is attributed to Dan Sullivan; he calls it “The Gap”. He’s referring to the gap between where you are and where you’d like to be (the ideal, for you). Continue reading

Even Little White Lies Hurt Your Health

Those of you who follow all my writings, not just the obvious health advisories, will know I write a lot about mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Those who joined my New Thought Horizons program, for instance, were treated to a talk entitled “Honesty, Lies and Truth”, with a strong message about not telling lies.

Lies undermine one’s own mental health. Lies also compromise your relationship partner; he or she cannot respond to you properly, if you are dishonest about what you are thinking, feeling or doing. In fact it’s a great way to make them look foolish and get them to hate you: just run rings round them with lies, till the whole relationship falls apart!

Then you run around telling more lies about how it was all his or her fault, not your own. Next thing you know—you are just average or “normal”, because they are all doing it too.

I published some startling figures. For instance, 96% of women admit to telling lies often, even daily. That was a survey of women, by women and published in a woman’s journal, if you are wondering about a gender attack.

I sometimes wonder about the 4%: whether they are the honest women or hardcore liars who won’t admit the truth, even on a survey! Continue reading