Aren’t You Curious What’s Behind Your “NO?”


Written by: Amy Collette

Amy loves to work with people who make a positive impact. Amy is a Book Coach, Founder of Unleash Your Inner Author, and the Author of The Gratitude Connection. Amy helps changemakers on their journey to become published authors.

Want to know how to change the world? Be one of those people who find the time and space to create something new in the world. We all live busy lives and have a lot going on, so it’s easy to get caught up in our reasons not to do something. Just the thought of taking on one more thing can feel overwhelming. The most frequent reason that I hear from people who put off writing their books is “I just don’t have enough time right now.” But what’s behind that “no?”

The Story vs. Reality

Why make the time to share something amazing? Remember the last time you did that? It feels like accomplishment, fulfillment, and satisfaction. And what you create will also contribute to the well-being of others. It might even change someone’s life! The belief you have in your message is far more powerful than the common “story” of not having enough time.

So what if we all got curious and took a closer look at the idea that we don’t have enough time? As a coach, I invite people to look behind the concept of “I don’t have enough time.” I ask myself the same question, because it’s a phrase that also falls out of my mouth pretty frequently.

My story is, “I don’t have time to create art.” I imagine the process in my head: sit and think about what I want to create and then paint it and then wait for it to dry so I can do the next part. Sometimes the whole process can seem overwhelming, and I wonder, “When am I going to find the hours to do that?” (Heavy sigh.) But when I actually do make the time, it feels like time stops, and I have so much fun with the colors and the ideas and the way it becomes something that I couldn’t have imagined. The reality feels much different from what I saw in my head.

I get so much joy from playing with paints that I can’t believe I don’t do it more often. I feel like a kid again, playing in art class. And I promise myself that I’m going to do it more often. It’s somehow easy to forget that the act itself energizes me rather than making me feel overwhelmed. Good thing to remember!

What’s Behind Your No?

Aren’t you a little curious about what is behind your “I just don’t have the time?” Think about something that you’ve put off for a long time. Is it something creative, or maybe physical, like exercise or playing a sport? Perhaps it’s simply taking time to enjoy your friends or loved ones or starting a new project. What’s your story about not having enough time? How do you feel about putting things off? Take a moment to picture yourself doing the thing and imagine how you’ll feel. That’s probably a better barometer of whether to do it. We all tend to find time for the things that are most important, and are actually fun, like painting is for me.

Does it Give You Energy or Drain Your Spirit?

One of the things we humans often forget is the energy that we get from doing something we love. Think about the relationships that give you energy. Isn’t it more fun to hang out with the people who bring energy and enthusiasm to life? And what about the last time you created something new? How did it affect your energy level?

So next time, before you go to the automatic “No, I don’t have time” refrain, consider your energy, your emotions, and what doing something you enjoy will do for you. If it’s part of your purpose, that project will actually give you energy rather than making you feel depleted. When you’re curious about whether you have time to make the commitment, invite your curiosity in to add to your decision-making process.

Clarity is one of the most beautiful things that can come from curiosity.

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1 Comment

  1. John Tonsick

    Excellent article, Amy.