If I Had Only Said No

Blog Post created by lisa.crilley Advocate on Jun 22, 2016

Do you ever say “yes” and regret it later? How many times have you found yourself at a social function that you just didn’t want to attend, and the entire time you were there you were grumpy KNOWING if you had just said “no” you could be home in your pj’s?!


Or, you realized you spent the majority of your day working on someone else's priorities and tasks, not your own! By saying YES to everyone, you are in fact saying NO to yourself! You are not allowing the space and energy to work on your BIG YES, your goal, your dream, your vision.


If you are sitting there reading this and nodding your head, keep reading!


Often, you say “yes” because you are caught off guard. When this happens, it is helpful to create a pause before you answer, so you can accept requests that truly fit you and your BIG YES! Then, refuse opportunities that may be a “good” fit but not a “great” fit. These opportunities pull you from your Big Yes.


So, how can you do this? How can you create this pause and be proactive? One way is to use a verbal phrase to give your brain time to catch up with your mouth. My favorite phrase is, “If you need an answer right now, the answer is no. However, if you give me 24 hours to check my schedule and commitments, I may be able to change this answer.”


This allows you time to THINK!


Then ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time RIGHT NOW?” If it is, say yes. If it isn’t, say no. 


Remember, “NO is a complete sentence." Typically, no one is asking us to explain our answer - we just do!


If you struggle with “no” as a complete sentence . . . here are some additional ideas.


  • Thank you for thinking of me, however I already have a commitment.
  • Thank you for the kind invitation, however, I’m unable to join you.
  • I appreciated the offer / I’m honored by the offer, however, I’m unable to add anything to my current schedule.
  • Refer someone else.
  • Redefine the ask so it fits into what you are able to do.


At the end of the day you must please yourself and honor your goals and your boundaries. Practice these tips and see how your life changes!