Actually, you don’t have to

Actually, you don’t have to.

This is one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned and probably the one I’d like most to pass on to my daughter (and my sons!):  actually, you don’t have to.

So here’s the wisdom of my nearly 42 years, passed on to you (yes, I am that old, and yes, you’re welcome!)

*You don’t have to answer the question just because someone asks.

*You don’t have to explain yourself to strangers, spurious authority figures, or anyone else just because they ask you to.

*You don’t have to do something just because someone told you to.

*You don’t have to ‘be nice’  and accept something you really don’t want (and that might even be harmful to you) just to make everyone else around you feel better.

I’m not saying that it’s not okay to do some of these things in small measures at considered times – of course it is! There are times in life, things that are small to us and maybe important to loved ones, where it is absolutely right to be sensitive to someone else’s needs because they are important to you. But this is needs to be a choice.

For too many of us, especially girls and women and mothers – our default setting is smiling compliance. Too many of us share more with people than we really feel comfortable sharing or do things we don’t really want to do (or feel good about in any way), just because someone asked – and that someone could be anyone – a stranger, a relative, an ‘authority figure’.

Too many of us give away our freedom and personal power without a thought just because someone asked or told us to.  This needs to stop. We need to stop. Because actually, we don’t have to.

We can make a new choice, whenever we like.

We can make a choice to stop – to hold that smile – and to think, to value the importance of our own needs, our own wants, our own wishes.

This may not be the answer or response ‘they’ wanted or expected.

But that’s okay. Because actually, we don’t have to. 


The next free healing for women and for birth is happening on Monday, 28 April 2014 – this is my birthday present to you! Join us here, and pass it on!


  1. says

    I would had to this list:

    You don’t have to explain/justify your reasons for saying no, or yes.

    This was a big and important lesson I needed to learn.

    • Rebecca W says

      Indeed!!! And the broken record technique is quite helpful for those who try :)

  2. Zoë Archer says

    Absolutely brilliant. I’m going to keep reminding myself of this list. I just wish someone had told me this 20 years ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>