What will you find in "No Problem"?
The book is authentic and real. There are personal stories, and those of clients or friends who have all fallen into the trap of "yes" instead of "no". At the same time, it's well researched with loads of information about particular topics like codependence, boundaries, The Enneagram, the Six Core Human Needs, "Change", EFT background and how to tap. It's filled with tapping ideas, practical tips and action steps at every corner.
The aim is to equip you with knowledge as well as practical know-how, so that you can read this book and put it into action right away.
I discuss some of my background, and what lead up to writing it all down. I also explain the principles I used - like Byron Katie's Work, The Enneagram Personality Types, Awareness, Honesty, Non-Judgement, The Rider, Elephant and Path.
Chapter 1: Understanding why we’re so tempted to say YES!
Here we take a look at the 15 most common underlying reasons we may find it hard to say no. You get a chance to rate the emotional severity of each for you, personally, and will get a chance to work through some of the emotional charge in the rest of the book.
Chapter 2: EFT - A tool to clear stress
I share an effective way to clear emotional stress, called Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT for short. It involves talking honestly to yourself about the problem, while tapping lightly with your fingertips on particular stress relief points. We learn the Set-Up Statement which combines stating the problem with an acceptance phrase of some kind. We use a scale of 0 - 100 or 0 - 10, to test the truth of, or the discomfort a statement causes so that we can measure whether we made any progress.
It’s best to be specific while doing the tapping, and we learn how to do that. We talk about the Generalization Effect that will occur after working with a good number of specific events. Problems are made up of many different facets or aspects and we need to look at all the aspects before the problem will be fully resolved. We can use the Personal Peace Procedure to work on our own personal specific events in order to clear the many aspects that may be keeping a problem in place. We look at how the amygdala in the mid-brain causes the fight-or-flight response and how EFT sends calming signals to it, thereby minimising our fearful response to external stimuli. EFT can be tried on absolutely everything, not only on “no problems”!
Chapter 3: Five Key Factors
We look at some background factors – the reasons underneath the reasons – that may be holding “I can’t say no” in place. Codependence, having no boundaries and how to set healthy ones, The Enneagram, Erik Erikson’s developmental stages and the six core human needs of Tony Robbins come under the spotlight. Tapping Exercises are provided for each subject - you’ll get far if you start using the suggested phrases.
Chapter 4: The good news is you CAN say no, you may just not know it yet!
Our values came up for scrutiny. Values are those things we consider of utmost importance personally, in order to live a happy life. If our values are not being met, we will mostly feel particularly unhappy. If we’re clear about our values, we can make decisions easily by deciding whether the request or task will meet one of our higher values. You will do an exercise to discover your own values. You'll get a chance to mark a day in your calendar, a couple of months from now, to look at your values again and evaluate whether they need to change in any way. We look at the reasons to have values or goals (the “why” of doing anything) that draw you like a magnet, instead of having values or goals that have you run away from something scary. Lastly, there is an exercise that will help you find your personal magnets to start saying no more often.
Chapter 5: There’s no need for guilt if you understand why it’s good to say “no”
We look at a few more repercussions of saying no, and saying yes. Saying yes to more things than you can handle really limits your options and flexibility in future, it may teach the other person that you think they’re not capable and stop them from growing and finding other options. When we say no to things we don’t want on our plate, we show ourselves respect, build our self-esteem, increase our options, give ourselves the gift of time to spend with things we love and enjoy – and therefore helps ourselves to stay
healthy on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.
Chapter 6: The Power of the Subconscious Mind
We look at the astounding power of the subconscious mind. Something like 97% of our processing power happens un- or subconsciously. We mostly don’t have the power to just decide “I’m going to change” if we have not created change on the subconscious level. Our Elephant is vastly more powerful than the Rider. Most of our beliefs and perceptions about life are formed before the age of 6. We can use various tools to help us transform on the subconscious level. Change happens over time, and it works best if we are kind and gentle with ourselves during this process.
Chapter 7: Change Happens in Steps
We look at a few ideas around the concept of “change”. Part of the reason change is hard for most of us, is that our bodies are addicted to certain chemicals in a way. When we don’t get those chemicals anymore, because of a change in habit or thinking, our bodies try to force us back into old habits that feel familiar, where we “know who we are”. Dr Joe Dispenza’s books are great reads for more on this topic.
The Stages of Change Model helps us to understand that change does not happen overnight, and a few steps or stages are involved. Sometimes all we need is to move ahead to the next step of this Model, and not all the way to the end yet. We also talked about the difference between heart-based change, change that is thrust upon us, and ego-driven hard goals. You will take a look at which kind of change you’d rather have.
Finally, we look at the knowledge, instruction and feedback loop. For any new skill, we need to know how and why, and then get feedback to correct our action if the new behaviour does not work yet. Feedback is necessary for learning, and does not ever mean failure – it’s information we can use going ahead.
Chapter 8: New Behaviour
We look at twenty four ways to word “no”, and a helpful checklist to help you get clear on decisions. We also look at a few ideas to handle a situation where you may have committed already and then realise it will not work for you. We hear about the concept that “neurons that fire together, wire together” and therefore, change creates new neural networks. Conversely, those old neural networks are “pruned” when they are no longer firing together. This also takes time and we can help the process along with processes like mental imagery, or imagining ourselves as the person we would like to be. Our brains can help us to practise being “the new me”.
Chapter 9: Sometimes we have to Let Go
It creates more peace for us to be able to let go of the outcome and have balance with our new behaviour. We'll check to see if you’re creating too many new rules for yourself, which limits your options once again. Sometimes it’s really okay to just let things be as they are, and not try to control them every step of the way. Trying to stay in control is hard, exhausting work and not possible anyway.
Chapter 10: Putting it all together
I introduce new beliefs or perceptions with which we can replace the 15 old beliefs (discussed in Chapter 1) about saying no. We also dispel some myths about conflict, and look at valuable definitions about respect. And finally, we revisit our Elephant and Rider to check they’re both on board for saying no.
Chapter 11: Other Stories and their Gifts
Here I share some profound lessons, questions and wonderful information I've learnt through my own experiences and mentoring I received.
Some practical tips for your journey and a lovely poem that has served as my inspiration for a long time.
Appendix A - Examples of Values
A whole long list of example values are provided, for the exercise where you determine your own. Just in case you get stuck!
Appendix B - Resources
Some valueable resources about EFT, Byron Katie that I have not necessarily quoted.