Saying No, Meaning It and Sticking to It


On this show…we are drawing a line in the sand, being kind but concise as we say NO with the purpose of meaning it and sticking to it. One small word.  Two little letters yet for some, the hardest word to say. The awkward silence after the delivery can be deafening and cause the weak at heart to cave and backslide. Just like a gymnast strives to stick the landing, one extra step means all the difference. To complicate things, N-O can be spoken in a variety of ways where tone and volume level can make or break the intent.

Wow so much to think of before uttering this objection. No wonder we struggle with when and how to convey this simple sentiment, NO. N-O, no can do, nope, uh-uh, that’s a negative, of course not, negative. How uncomfortable are you just thinking about it? Have no fear, literally – no fear. We will explore this small but mighty word, get to the root of our resistance, and come up with some strategies to overcome.

No is a tough one for me. It used to be downright impossible without some sort of excuse or justification to follow. “No….but here’s why, blah blah blah” do you still like me? Did that make it easier? Do you feel ok with my answer? What an exhausting thought process. 

Listen, someone asks something of you knowing, right out of the gate, that they have a 50-50 shot. I mean really, how many of us buy “maybe”? So you can say yes or you can say no. They have a 50% chance of getting what they want. You may or may not have been their first attempt so odds are, they have a backup plan. Most things won’t live and breathe by your answer so relax. 

Where we fail is to consider our feelings, our time, and our capacity when giving our answer. In many cases, our only consideration is will they be disappointed if we say no. What about your disappointment meant? Does that sound selfish? If you think so, keep listening. This might be where we need some help overcoming this thought process. 

Sarah Cy shows us: How to Say NO Without Feeling Guilty, Mean, or Selfish

Finding the balance between self-care and helping others in her article found at

James Sadukow shares: The Science Behind Why Awkward Silence WorksHere’s the science behind why awkward silence works, how much of it is really needed, and how to use it effectively. Found at

Iulian Ionescu helps us with: How To Say No: A Guide for Serial People Pleasers found on his blog

CHALLENGE: consider your own feelings, interests, and capacity when evaluating an ask. Be confident in your decision to deliver a no, in a kind and thoughtful way. No doesn’t mean never but for today, you’re saying no to make room for your own yes!

I Know YOU Can Do It!