Let's dive right in here. How many times have you agreed to something and immediately
regretted it? Maybe you were blindsided or were in a hurry and didn't have time to think it
through, so you just said yes.
Whether you agreed to help with the annual fundraiser at your kids school, or a friend pressured you
into placing an order for an online party she's having (but you don't even like or need the product
Maybe your spouse wants a night out with his/her friends but you've been feeling run down with
mild cold symptoms and you know deep inside you do not have the energy to deal with all three
kids. Not to mention the next morning when your spouse needs to sleep in because he/she was out
Maybe your manager asks you to take on yet another project but you're already in over your head. To
make matters worse, this manager asks you in front of ten other co-workers during a meeting.
Oh the pressure!
I'd like to give you some simple yet effective tips on how to prevent yourself from saying “yes”
when you really mean “no” or “maybe.”
First, it IS OK to say NO. This one powerful word stands alone and is considered a complete sentence.
Second, For those of you who feel like you need to soften your response just a bit, you can consider
saying something like this: “I appreciate you asking but I simply cannot commit to one more thing
IF you're caught off guard it is fine to say: “Thank you for asking me but I already have another
commitment that day.”
Reminder, there is no need to apologize, or sheepishly say, “I'm sorry” but......I hear SO many people
do this. Please don't. It's an energy drain and places you in a less powerful state. There is no need to
apologize. You are not meant to be all things to all people!
HELPFUL TOOL to use in every situation: It is essential to “pause” before you answer someone.
I preach and teach and practice “Take the Pause” all the time. How is this done? You simply draw in
one or two slow deep breaths to get you back to your center. THEN say something like this:
“Hmmm, you're kind of catching me off guard here. I need some time to think about this and check
my schedule. Why don't I get back to you by (give them a day/time).
PLEASE NOTE: If you've been a people pleaser most of your life, or you don't like letting people
down you will most likely feel guilty at first. It will feel awkward. DO IT ANYWAY. Saying “no”
and setting boundaries is a crucial life skill that everyone needs. I repeat, setting boundaries and
learning to say no is a life skill we all need to learn and get comfortable with.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
READING TIP: Many years ago when I was going through a divorce and trying to figure out
my “adult child” issues, my very wise counselor suggested this book: “BOUNDARIES”
by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
It's funny to look back on this now, but when he first mentioned that I grew up in a family
without boundaries I remember cocking my head to the side and looking at him and shaking my head
saying “what do you mean, I don't get it?” I had no idea there was such a thing!
Reading that book was one of the best gifts I ever gave myself.
IN SUMMARY: Go forth and “Just say no” - starting now! Good luck.