One of the shortest, simplest, very first words we utter has the power to stop mountains from moving.

But I’m guessing you probably don’t use it enough.

What is this most important word?



When we are young toddlers we love throwing it around to anyone who wishes us to do something that is the slightest bit inconvenient to our mission of the moment.

Don’t want to eat broccoli?


Don’t want to go to bed?


Don’t want mommy to have to leave for the day?


At this time in our life, we are also told no to many of wishful requests. There are lots of NO’s going around all the time.

Then we start to learn the way it works and choose to say yes more while we are also told yes to those ambitions with which we have the capacity to be responsible for.

And somewhere along the line we can forget our once favorite word and life turns into a big yes-fest to everyone else’s whim + fancy.

This isn’t a good thing and it’s a hard place to grow out of, but true maturity comes when we learn to say yes + no appropriately.

If you are feeling strained + stressed, though, the first thing you must do to get organized is to learn when to say no.

Here are just a few times when flexing your NO muscle can be a very GOOD thing.

1. Unnecessary commitments that are not true obligations (taxes, providing for yourself/family) or do not add value to your life.
2. Personal desires that are truly not a priority and compete with more important commitments based on your stage in life.
3. Memory triggers (whether physical, beliefs, or otherwise) such as clutter from your past that does not belong in your life anymore.

These are simple concepts but make a world of difference in your ability to say yes to the best of the best in life. The hard part isn’t figuring out which things you know you need to say no to…

The hard part is not trying to justify the “no” as a “should” either put on by yourself or someone else.

We all know deep down what we can’t manage, but often high expectations trump reasonable abilities to keep certain commitments.

The trick is to truly listen to that voice that does not feel peace about something and having the strength to say a firm, “No.”

Stick your ground (even if it is with yourself) and you will start to define your boundaries in fruitful ways.

There is a quote I love that sums it up brilliantly:

The Most Important Work in Your Vocabulary |


While this is specific to your space (including your workspace it also applies to your life – in a big way!)

Learning how to hone in on what you are capable of and honestly willing to commit to will open up the doors to opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible if you did everything everyone has told you that you “should” do.

But you need to say no before you can say yes to all the good stuff.

This can be a touchy subject, but if you are open to share – what is one small thing that eats up your time & energy that you can say NO to?

What would you be able to say yes to if you did?

Share in the comments and if you liked this post, please spread the love and share it on social media :)

2 Comments on The Most Important Word In Your Vocabulary (And When To Use It)

  1. Charlotte
    March 6, 2015 at 2:11 PM (4 years ago)

    I totally agree! And “no” it’s not a one-time thing. It’s a continuous practice. Thanks for the reminder today. The pics of your new office are *sweeet*.

    • Jessica Newell
      March 7, 2015 at 1:14 PM (4 years ago)

      Yes! It’s something you need to establish to define your boundaries/limits in life.

      Glad to have inspired you!


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