— Life —

Just Say No With Confidence and Grace

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Do you know how to say “no?” If you’re like most women, you say “yes” way too often out of guilt, obligation or filling your life with people and projects that don’t align with your purpose. Instead of finding joy and meaning in your days, you experience resentment and anger. Instead of having time to do the things you love, your calendar’s filled with activities that drain you.

Setting healthy boundaries is crucial to living a purpose-filled life. Defining yourself with a distinct “outline” provides protection from outside forces that draw you away from your calling. Blurred boundaries create confusion about who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing.

To flourish, you must draw physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries in your life, leaving behind the people and activities that threaten to suffocate your brilliance, and saying “no more” to memories that drag you down.

I promise the more you practice saying “no,” the easier it gets. Think of it in these terms.
  • Say “no” more often to things that don’t “light your fire,” leaves open space for things you want to do. You’ll feel more enthusiastic, energetic and joyful in the activities you choose to do.
  • When you say yes to something you really don’t want to do, you’re stealing the opportunity from someone who really wants to say yes. Think of it as a gift: When you say no, you’re gifting that activity/responsibility to the person who will receive joy from doing it, plus she’ll likely do a better job because it’s supporting her purpose and passions.
How do you say “no” gracefully?
  • No, that doesn’t work well for me right now.
  • No, I just don’t have time in my schedule to take on anything new, but I know someone who might be a great choice.
  • No, I’d love to spend time chatting with you now, but I can’t give you my full attention. Let’s reschedule for a better time.
  • No, I am laser-focused on my own goals right now, and to get them accomplished, I need to stay on track.
  • I appreciate the consideration, but it doesn’t fit with my schedule.
  • Or, just NO. No is a complete sentence! No excuses required.

What do you need to say no to? Start practicing today, and experience the freedom one simple word brings to your life.




  • 1010ParkPlace September 12, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Susan, I’m good about saying “no.” There were a couple of people I used to socialize with… out of habit? When I let them go, it was a sigh of relief. Nothing wrong with them. I just had to work too hard at it being right for me. xoxo, Brenda

  • Susan September 12, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Brenda, it can be hard to draw those boundaries with friends, but we must not let the “energy vampires” suck the life out of us! I’ve read that we are the average of the five people we hspend the most time with, so we must choose wisely!

  • Jen Lawrence September 13, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I’ve worked hard on no over the past few years and can now do it guilt-free. I love the idea of gifting others by letting them do it, however. I used to be the same about letting people help me until someone pointed out that letting people feel good by helping me is actually a gift. It’s amazing how powerful reframing things can be! Great post. xo

    • Susan September 14, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      So true, Jen! When someone denies us the opportunity to lend a hand, we feel deflated and often insignificant. It definitely helps to look at things from another person’s perspective!

  • Esther Zimmer September 16, 2016 at 4:33 am

    I feel like it’s only this year that I’ve really started to master the art of saying no. I had somehow become the go-to person for helping out with all manner of things and it was starting to overwhelm me until I realised that I could simply say, “No”. Or perhaps what I really mean is until I was forced to say, “No”. And sometimes no is enough, but I like your list of other suggestions for when I feel a little extra is required! Esther xx

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