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The power of saying ‘NO’

Saying ‘Nowithout a bitter feeling of discomfort is crucial for emotional resilience. Saying ‘Nodoes not equal being negative, but often means being responsible. Being successful in your life and work is not dependent on you saying yes to everything and everyone.

Why? Because you get what you allow. So whatever you say YES to, will flow into your life. Be conscious of what comes in and say NO to what you do not want in life. 

For years in my early adulthood I had a kind of fear of missing out. Of doing too little although I actually did a lot all the time. I would involve myself in plenty of activities, courses, work, friendships without deeper consideration. I later realized how much of my emotional energy is spent on things that do not add real value to life. So before loosing too much energy I realized that saying No is being responsible for emotional resilience. It is standing up for yourself and should in fact be considered as an act of self-care.

If you have a lot on your plate and feel like you are loosing yourself, it is a strong signal to review everything you are involved in. Relationships, work, activities that no longer serve your vision of life. It will probably feel uncomfortable to cut certain things off, but the discomfort of severe stress, anxiety and overwhelm is worse. Success is being able to live a life full of joy and not feeling overwhelmed everyday!


Questions I use to determine whether I should say YES or NO:

Am I genuinely moved by or excited about the opportunity?
How does it contribute to my goals and intentions?
Is it in alignment with areas I focus on and with my values?
Do I have the capacity to give it my best?
Will it benefit me or the ones I am serving?


If you agonize over the idea of having to say ‘NO’, start with small things as you build confidence. Then get to the bigger things.

First, reduce the clutter, both mental and material. Get rid of the items you do not actually need. If there is someone who drains you every time you interact, consider becoming less involved. If there are situations that cause you unneeded stress, stop participating.

Then, establish your boundaries for the next month. Decide what you are willing and able to do and focus on it.

Next, make it clear to people you meet that you won’t be available in some situations. Skip the drama and do it with good attitude.

“A healthy rejection can be done simply, with a firm look and respectful tone of voice. To be genuine and convincing, your “no” must also be done in a manner consistent with your own unique personality and style. ”

Michael Mamas – entrepreneur.com

When feeling uncertain about your answer, give yourself more time. What would you answer if you loved yourself more?

Be true to yourself and take responsibility for your emotional resilience. Choose consciously what you focus on and say yes to, because…

Where your focus goes, energy flows!

About Anna Balciune

Anna is a certified career and life coach for young women in traditionally male-dominated fields such as STEM. She empowers young women to create an enjoyable career that fits their desired lifestyle, to nurture femininity and shine with confidence by taking consistent action towards inspiring goals. She is a senior engineer and a board member of labor unions for graduate professionals at a global telco, as well as a wife and a mum. Anna spent her last decade studying & working in several EU countries, and is now based in Sweden.

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