The Power of No! Why standing firm creates self-love

Be kind, humble, grateful and firm. I was rereading the “Law of Life” over the weekend and those four words were written about how to live our lives.

And I wondered which was the most challenging for each person. Kind isn’t nice – the deathly nice girl or boy routine — kind comes from the heart. Loving-kindness.

Humble – gifted people we love and admire are often humble. They know there is a Source greater than themselves that gives them their gifts.

Grateful – we all have so much to be grateful for – homes, jobs, health. I know when people are in a positive frame of mind they really can see how much they have to be grateful for.

Firm – is this the biggest challenge? When I first think of firm, I think of sticking to a boundary you’ve drawn; or holding someone to their word; or not letting a careless person ruin your valuables. I also think of having to make a difficult communication to someone you like and yet with whom you need to be firm.

As I reflect more on being firm I’m struck by the strength it requires. It’s not about being mean, bitchy, nasty or rude. It’s really standing in your power and being true to yourself.

How does it apply in relationships? To have loving, passionate, healthy relationships we have to be willing to be firm at times. “No, I can’t go shopping tonight I have to practice my guitar.” “No, I can’t go to the beach today, I want to stay home and paint.” “No, I’m not going to watch that movie, I don’t like violence.” “Yes, I want to stay late tonight and finish this project.”

What does firm sound like? It sounds strong, centered and clear. It’s a “No” and it doesn’t need to be confrontational or angry. It’s a NO to someone else and a YES to yourself.

Most men I know really appreciate firm – they know where they stand. Women like firm too, if it’s spoken from the heart.

Sometimes you meet people who are boundary pushers. They push your boundaries if you aren’t firm. Children are natural boundary pushers. “Does no really mean no, or can I get away with it?” The child tries again and again until they hear that no means NO. You don’t need to be nasty, mean or violent. Just firm.

The same applies to adults. If they hear firmness in your voice, and see it in your body language they are less likely to push. And if they do and you increase the intensity of your firmness they will give up. A boundary pusher learns early in life that no, doesn’t mean no, it means if I keep trying then I’ll get my way. Show them you mean what you say and they will give up.


What does being firm do for people in relationships? It lets people know where they stand. It lets them know what works and what doesn’t work. It gives people the guidelines they need to be successful in a relationship.

Are you afraid that people won’t like you if you’re firm? Do you really want people in your life who don’t respect your boundaries, desires or interests?


The true problem with not being firm is you lose respect for yourself. And the minute you start down that path, the ego comes in stronger than ever. The ego starts being mean to you, reminding you of all sorts of supposedly negative things.

The other problem with not being firm is it allows people to take advantage of you and then you become the “victim.” You inadvertently create an energy that says to others that they can take advantage of you.

You also don’t get to do or have what you want – whether that involves being with people, hobbies, movies, buying furniture, you name it the list goes on.


When you take a good self-defense class the first thing they teach you is to say NO. Then they teach you to yell it. The first time I had to yell no – I couldn’t. I remember being horrified. I opened my mouth and nothing came out. Fortunately, with practice I was able to let it out.

As women we aren’t taught to yell NO. So practice in your car, see if you can yell it at the top of your lungs. Let it rip.

The other thing I’ve learned recently is to say STOP. When things are swirling and I can’t get grounded, or when someone is trying to sell me something and not listening to me, I now say STOP. It allows me to get grounded and centered again and then I can proceed and make the best decision. It will surprise people. It doesn’t need to be nasty, just firm.

Practice being firm and keep at it until you’ve mastered it. Don’t be hard on yourself as you’re learning this – just be clear, honest, kind and firm.

Being true to yourself, though it takes some effort, is worth it so you don’t become a victim or lose self-respect.


It’s a choice. Be kind, humble, grateful and firm. Your experiences will directly reflect your willingness to live by these four principles.

Your heart will open, you will attract the people you want in your life and you will allow yourself to be vulnerable and to love without fear if you follow those principles.

You can choose to really love – letting it pour out of your heart into your own cells and into the cells of the people around you.

imagine the possibilities…

© Carol Chanel

Q & A

I want to share the answer I got from a French spiritual healer I work with twice a year to my question about having to remove myself from a long friendship. I asked for understanding about my decision. I was clear both of us were wonderful people, that I still loved and cared about my former friend – I just couldn’t be friends any longer. It didn’t serve me at all

Here’s what he said:

“Sometimes in life we start down the same path with a person and then maybe one of you changes directions and you are then on different paths. That might mean your consciousness levels are different and you are looking at life differently. No one is right or wrong, just a different path and a different reality.

The important thing is to honor your truth, to do the right thing for yourself. You need your energy to do your work.

When people are at different consciousness levels they see the world differently. (See David Hawkins book, “Power vs. Force” for more information on this topic.)

There is no need for quilt or fear, just stay with the truth and trust that God is with you both as you journey on your separate paths.”



n my last issue I mentioned my Kundalini yoga instructor, who also does structural therapy and stress management. I forgot to mention the name of this wonderful man – Guru Prem Singh Khalsa – and that he teaches on Wednesday night at Yoga West in Los Angeles, CA.

As a former gymnast his understanding of how to properly use the body is one of his great assets. His others are his spirituality and his understanding and teaching of the reasons and proper use of the breath.

This wise, kind, humble, slightly shy man has a strong and caring vision to share with the world. I know you’ll want to experience his wisdom.

For those of you who don’t live here or can’t get to his class, I highly recommend his book: “Divine Alignment.”

To purchase his book go to:

As we close in Kundalini yoga class:

“May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you
And the pure light within you, guide your way on.”

Carol's Services

I teach people to overcome the obstacles that keep them stuck yet longing for romantic relationships, more self-confidence and inspiration to accomplish their dreams.

We sometimes forget what it feels like to live from our hearts and souls. We forget the thrill of taking the brakes off and flying. Life is dull if we just live from our minds.

Are you - or someone you know - settling, for less than exciting, either in relationships or a career?

You can visit my website at:

You'll find other articles there and more in-depth information about both my services and me.

Carol Chanel
Certified Life Coach 

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