Learning how to say “No” more, so your “Yes” can make more impact!


“And for that reason, I’m out.” It’s my favorite line to quote from the show Shark Tank on ABC. I’ve only seen the show a handful of times, but the line resonates with me.

I used to give my answer to things too quickly – especially my “yes.” I didn’t give myself permission to really mull over the weight of what my “yes” really meant and instead would agree to things with hesitation rather than say  no with guilt. The problem here is that we all know what happens when we say “yes” to things we shouldn’t have – resentment and regret.

As a business owner stepping into motherhood with some really big goals, I don’t have time to say “yes” to things that aren’t going to push the needle forward in my business or that don’t fulfill me, and I have a feeling that you don’t either.

When I first started putting more thought into why I was committing to things, it’s like a magic wand called “boundaries” was waved, and to be honest, I immediately knew I was never going back.  

If It’s Not a Heck Yes, Then It’s a No

Hone in on your “no” and learn to embrace the freedom behind it. If you are not on fire for something, then reserve that “yes” and move on! A tough lesson to learn and embrace is that every opportunity is not your opportunity. The same is to be said about opportunities, not all being created equal either. Trust that just because something comes along that you can say “yes” to, doesn’t mean that you need to. It’s also important to remember that a “no” right now doesn’t mean that same opportunity will never come along down the road when it feels more right. Trust your gut and learn to identify how you feel before you give that “yes,” and it will become even more powerful.

Ask Yourself the Tough Questions  

It may be surprising to know that a lot of the things we give our “yes” away to are our own requests of ourselves. We sign up for too much and often add too many goals at once. Ultimately, we put burdens on our already full plates simply because we want to achieve more. There is nothing wrong with having hefty goals and doing things to push yourself towards them. The problem is we forget to prioritize or look at the big picture to see which tasks and projects are genuinely moving us forward toward success. Take a pause as you look at your to-do list and ask yourself if these tasks are a priority and moving the needle forward. Take inventory of your planner and your calendar and ask yourself if each meeting or commitment is really important to the big picture. Then, get in the habit of asking yourself these things before you say “yes”!  

Find Comfort in That Middle Ground Called “Maybe” 

Like any other new step in your business or life, it’s sometimes best to ease into things. If you identify as a chronic “yes” person, saying no to something may be a little more difficult at first. If you have a hard time deciding if something is truly a “heck yes” opportunity or request, give yourself grace and offer a “maybe” in the meantime. You may need to take additional time before providing your response on something, and that is more than ok. Allow yourself to have some privacy and head space to review the pros and cons of something and evaluate if you want to say yes or no. Your “maybe” can be a placeholder that brings you comfort in times where you really aren’t ready to respond definitively.

Your time and talent are valuable, so don’t fall into the trap of giving either away to things that don’t deserve it and aren’t in your best interest. As you begin embracing the answer “no” more, you’ll soon find it’s the game-changer you’ve been looking for! Get excited for the “yes” moments that feel good and align you with what you want most in your business and your life.




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