Say NO to Saying Yes

Contrary to popular belief, NO is not a four-letter word. Whether we’re asked to volunteer at our kid’s school, take on more clients at work, or do a favor for a friend, many of us say yes more often than we should.

One reason is the fear of how others will react if we say no. This is especially true if the request is from someone in a position of power, like a boss, parent, or older sibling.

In some cases, there are even built-in rewards for saying yes. We enjoy the prestige or kudos we get from taking on the task. We often don’t think about the work we’re taking on or the energy it may require.

But remember, saying yes to one thing really means your saying no to other things that are competing

Acknowledging to ourselves that we can’t do everything isn’t easy. However, you’ll find that the first NO you voice will be liberating.

Why Say No

Grant yourself permission to say no. It’s perfectly okay to turn down an event and stay home to read a book or watch the sunset. You don’t need to justify your NO, it’s none of their business.

Saying no helps you regain the space in your life to allow you to say yes to the things that are most important to you. This includes hobbies, relationships, self-care, and many other things that are important in maintaining your life of balance. When you reconnect with things that bring you joy, it will be easier to prioritize them.

Saying no can also empower the people around you. It gives others the chance to step up, take responsibility and grow from the experiences.

How to Say It

When you do say no, less is more. Say no and express regret, but you do not need to give a reason. you think you’re making the situation better by giving an elaborate excuse. But you’re really giving the other person room to negotiate. Stand firm and make clear that your no is not negotiable. If you know of someone else you could suggest for the request, you might offer the information but don’t feel obligated to find a replacement.

It is up to you to decide what your priorities are. Once decided, don’t compromise. When someone makes a request that doesn’t fit into your priorities, politely say no. This will leave time in your life for the things that matter most.

Remember, A Life of Balance isn’t about doing it all, it’s about doing what matters most. Tell me your experiences. Did it go much better than you thought or were there problems? Let me know in the comments below or send me an email at

Now that you’ve learned how to say no, it’s time to plan what left. Sign up to get our Daily Planning Set and mini-course. Check out these posts for more inspiration on simplifying your life and planning for what matters most.

Daily Planning is the Key to Goal Achievement

How to Balance Your Life: 10 Organization & Simplification Habits of Productive People

Why You Need Routines and Schedules

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