Saying ‘No’ Can Make You Happier and Healthier. Here’s Why.


Saying ‘No’ Can Make You Happier and Healthier. Here’s Why.

I have recently been asked to share my journey from people pleasing to empowered contribution, and it has been a fabulous time of reflection for me. For many years I would put others first for the majority of the time, forgetting to show myself kindness and recharge my own power first. I was a budding Super Hero.

This pattern began at quite a young age, and it wasn’t until my health began to deteriorate that I decided to sit up, take notice and begin this empowering journey of change. It has been a long and fascinating journey of awakening, and I am now finally on the other side.

So, because of this, in my next three articles, I will share some of my insights, so you can see how important it is to recharge your own power first and how to go about doing that.

We Small Business owners can be our own worst enemy at times. I remember when I first started out in business, I was taught how important it was to learn how to say “Yes” as often as possible and to take as many actions as possible to achieve my goals and dreams. This is absolutely true, and I have been given some amazing opportunities to grow my business just by saying “Yes” even when I felt nervous about doing it.This is where it is really important to say “Yes” as often as possible, and I have no argument with that.

When this becomes, a problem is when you are saying “Yes” to your own detriment when you are putting other people before you and ignoring your own needs for the majority of your time. This applies to relationships in business and our personal life.

Often we do this because we don’t want to miss an opportunity. A coaching colleague of mine calls this “FOMO – Fear of missing out”. More often than not its because we don’t like to say “No” because we want to keep the other person happy or we want to please them in some way.

It may fulfil our need for security or help us feel that we will be loved and accepted and always belong because of that. The truth is when we say “Yes” to someone, we are also saying “No” to something or someone else and often that person is ourselves.

As Paul Coelho said…

“When you say “Yes’ to others make sure you are not saying “No” to yourself.”

When we do this, we give our power away, and we give it away to the point that we have no fuel left in our own tank. When your own tank is empty, you don’t ‘work as productively. You can look tired and stressed; it affects your body language and the way you communicate, and that does your business no favours at all.

And, if you run on an empty tank for long enough, it can eventually lead to anxiety, depression and other serious health issues.

So it’s important to learn how to say “No” so you can live a healthy, balanced life

  1. Decide on your outcomes – Decide on what is important to you, what your goals are for all aspects of your business and life. Be realistic when you decide on the number of goals.
  2. Delay your response – When someone requests your time, stall your response. Tell the person you will get back to them, that you will have to check your diary.
  3. Check in with yourself  – Ask yourself if the request supports what is important to you, your goals and your health or can it create a win/win situation in some way. Check in with your body, how does your body feel about this? If you would like to use this time for yourself, then it’s okay to say “No”.
  4. Say “No” nicely – To begin with; you may feel uncomfortable about saying “No” or you may even have pent up annoyance because you’ve been saying “Yes” for such a long time. This may reflect in your tone of voice and your body language. So be aware and adjust this. If you feel uncomfortable, you may find it easier to say “No’ with an explanation, for example, “No, I am unable to do this because I have other deadlines”.

When you begin to say “No” you may find it’s not received well. If you find this is the case for you, it’s because you have trained people to have those expectations of you. Stick with it, because you can give far more authentically from a full tank than an empty one. People will eventually get used to the new you and love you even more exactly as you are.

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  • roland hanekroot

    Thanks Deb, Powerful reminder… I often tell clients: “Learning to say NO respectfully, gently or even kindly if required, but unequivocally is one of the greatest business management skills you’ll ever learn”… or… as Winston Churchill apparently said: “Diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a way that they’re looking forward to the journey”… In other words… learning to say No diplomatically

  • Deb

    Thank you for taking the time to comment Roland and I do love that quote! 🙂

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