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Saying Yes to Saying No

It's a two letter word, but it sure packs a punch. Can you guess it? The answer is "no"! We've all been in the situation where saying no to a family member, friend or co-worker is nearly impossible, but why is it so hard to say 'no' to people and obligations that arise? According to influential thinker and author, David Allen, "You can do anything but not everything." Perhaps saying no has more meanings and positivity built into it than we think!


Saying no to family, friends and people we care about often makes us feel like a disappointment. However, at some point it's important to realize that it's impossible to say yes to everyone and everything that is thrown your way. The pressure to give in to saying 'yes' often results in greater stress, an overload on projects and less time for personal projects. This is why simply saying 'no' has the power to transform our lives!

Determining your priorities can often be the first step to saying no. Ask yourself what is important and what tasks you need to accomplish for the day, week or month, and don't feel guilty about respecting your time! When an obligation arises that you want to say 'no' to just keep it simple; be respectful and provide an alternative if you're able to. People that truly care about you will understand why you're saying no. If you can’t say no to other people, prepare yourself for some long nights and early mornings ahead! In order to be able to say yes to a great opportunity you will have to say no to a ton of good things. Be clear of your vision; know where you want to be and who you want to be.

Do you take on too many tasks? Try saying yes to saying no! Doing so will free yourself the burden of other people's obligations and you will have more time and energy to devote to you. In the wise words of Great Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair, "The art of leadership is saying no. Not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes."

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