Yara Shahidi just came through with the end of the week message that will get your mindset all the way together. We're less than two months away from 2020 and before the end of the year, Yara wants you to make "no" the most-used word in your vocabulary.
The Glamour 2019 Women of the Year Award recipient accepted the honor with an impromptu word about reclaiming the power to decline opportunities, people, and things that do not serve you. She said:
"I didn't prepare anything today, but it was because I knew that I was going to find an answer here. And I did. I was wondering what it meant to be a woman."
Just because you're busy doesn't mean you're actually minding the business that pays you and ignoring this fact can lead to a helluva lot of people-pleasing. While saying "yes" may feel right in the moment, the Grown-ish actress went on to explain that saying "nah" might just be the most productive move you make all damn day.
"The conclusion I came up with is that to be a woman is to be an abolitionist. To be a woman is to understand the power of our 'yes', of course, but to understand how groundbreaking and system-shaking it is to say 'no'. But it's because no is productive."
Women like Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, and Harriet Tubman were all impervious to the bullsh*t and said "no" to not only the men who attempted to silence them but to a system that allowed those men to prosper. Yara says that it's time to take this system by the balls and assert our feelings of "hell nah" just as vehemently as our predecessors. She continued:
"Our 'no' doesn't just sit still saying, 'I am okay being discontent with the system in front of me.' Our 'no' takes action. Our 'no' stands up. Our 'no' is allyship. Our 'no' understands that I must advocate for something greater than myself because I am you and you are me and we are of each other. Our 'no' understands that we are tearing apart this system, what it means to connect in spite of. But it's because of our differences in creating spaces to celebrate one another."
Whether it comes to standing up to an oppressive system or just telling your co-worker that she's been invading your personal space lately, reclaim the power of your "no" and own it, sis, because protecting your energy is a superpower that you shouldn't take lightly.
"Our 'no' has made it possible for rooms like this. Our 'no' understands that we will never settle. And I am so grateful to be part of a lineage both figuratively and literally of women who have said 'no'. I'm so grateful to be a part of a generation of women who've said 'no'. I'm so grateful to be in a space in which we are actively saying 'no'."
What are you saying "no" to today to protect your own energy? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image by Instagram/@yarashahidi.