The Power of “No”

“My pleasure.”
“Glad to help.”
“Yes, I will.”
“No problem.”
“Of course.”

Are you yessing yourself to death? Are you exhausted? Bitter? Tired? Out of time to pursue your goals?

This might just be for you (and me!).


A few weeks ago, I went to Instagram and asked for feedback on how to say, “no” and was delighted to gets lots of good responses. My daughter often tells me that she can barely complete her request before I hit her with a “No.” She thinks my name is, “No.” She thinks my thinks my thinks my theme song is “No” by Megan Trainor. But, at the end of my day, I have done a whole lot of yessing and really have to work to deny a request.

Why Yes?

#WaysToSayNoFor me, the root of this evil is simple, I grew up not feeling valuable and only felt I would be loved, wanted, or accepted if I was accommodating. This is nothing unique, just ask any people pleaser. There was no filter for this systematic yessing; if someone asked, I agreed. Simple….and exhausting, and enraging, and saddening, and eventually it ate away even further at my self esteem. For every time I said yes to something that was not in line with my values, I said no to supporting myself and standing up for my beliefs. That is as honest as it gets.

If you are a knee-jerk yesser like I was, now is the time to get real
clear on the “why” so you can redefine it. Are you yessing to get approval, affirmation, validation, ingratiation? All of the above? Something else?

#WaysToSayNoYou do not have to run around telling people or sign up for a step-program for healing, but write it down. Simple. Because, after you have pinned down your reason, you can breathe in your ability to do those things for yourself and exhale the need to get those things from everyone else. Wait, on three…we can do it together. I have to remind myself regularly, as I am working against a lifetime of deeply rooted and misguided yessing.

Why, Yes.

#WaysToSayNoThere are also really good reasons to say yes:

  • Yes, for growth opportunities
  • Yes, to challenge yourself
  • Yes, because you would actually love to
  • Yes, because it is in line with your goals
  • Yes, to further your career
  • Yes, to honor someone who yeses for you

“Yes” does not have to be self selfish or limited, but your yes is valuable and should be treated as such. Prioritize your yes based on your goals and values. By this point, you should be getting your life lit so you can be actively doing things that take time to move your life to higher levels –and that will mean you have to say no, so you can say yes to new and exciting things.

And, you do not have to be a jerk about it. As you can see from the Instagram feedback, you can be sarcastic, silly, straight-up, or altogether laugh it off. You get to choose which response fits you – or is just plain easiest. More than anything you just need to know that “No.” is OK. 

What are your #WaysToSayNo? Share with me here or at the ThatBasicChic Facebook Page,  Twitter, or Instagram.