Having the courage to say NO!

I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to say YES to a lot of things. Because of that I end up with a full plate.

When I get spread too thin, I try to bulldoze my way through life and then cause myself to get burned out.

All this just because I have a fear of saying NO.

Recently, I realized that I was experiencing chronic stress because I had taken on too much.

I had to do some soul searching and found out that my fear of saying NO had brought me to a place of overwhelm and I had to figure a way out.

Red palm of extended hand with the word NO! Learning to overcome overwhelm

Therefore, I identified that going through the following exercise gave me the ability to say NO:


1.      RECOGNIZE your values:

If you don’t know what your values are then you can’t base your decisions on what truly matters most to you.

My top five values are: Health, Purpose, Family, Faith, and Growth.

Because I am now clear on what my values are, if something is not aligned with my values, I can say NO more easily to it.


2.      PRIORITIZE your values:

Once you know what your top five values are then you should prioritize them.

My values in order of importance are: Faith, Family, Purpose, Health, and Growth.

When you have your values prioritized, you are able to choose how to spend your time more wisely based on your values. Thus, saying NO to all else that wastes your time becomes second nature.


3.     CREATE a vision:

This is a time where you can dream with specific detail of what you want your life to look like and what you want to accomplish.

When you create a vision for your life, you are able to go through the emotions as if you’ve actually realized it in reality. This creates more ownership of it for you.

A vision will allow you to say NO to those things that go against your vision for your life.


4.     MAKE a plan:

Now that you know your vision and you have it all laid out for yourself, you should then make a concrete, step-by-step plan on how you are going to realize your vision.

When you have a plan that moves you towards achieving your goals, you’re more apt to say NO to whatever tries to move you away from accomplishing your mission.


5.     PRACTICE saying NO:

I’m sure you’ve heard that you need to practice something in order to become better at it.

The same is true to saying NO. The more you say it, the easier it gets and ultimately the more empowered you become.

This exercise helped me come out of being overwhelmed because I was able to eliminate and delegate certain things that I was not saying NO to.


I would highly encourage you to go through this exercise if you find yourself in a similar situation as I was in.

Doing so will enable you to have the courage to say NO the next time someone or something calls for your time, attention, and/or resources that do not align with either your values, vision, or plan.

Please share how this exercise has helped you.