Once upon a time, I had a hard time saying “no,” both professionally and personally. At times, it felt as though I was in a constant whirlwind of playing superwoman, feeling pressured to do it all. I gradually lost focus and ultimately, that also meant that my goals and priorities suffered as a result of extreme burn-out.

Things have changed.

My life can certainly get overwhelming, having to simultaneously juggle family, friends, career, kids, entrepreneurship and marriage. Yes, it’s hard work but it’s so worth it when the priorities align. But one thing that I am now not ashamed to confidently announce is “no” when I am feeling like I have stretched myself too thin or simply want to use my free time for family fun or self-care. Now that I prioritize effectively, I can plan accordingly for every special event and milestone of my loved ones to make better use of my time without feeling flustered.

Do you struggle with “no”? Here are 3 ways to exercise your power:

  1. For your sanity

Don’t let the stresses of life and everyone dumping on you break your spirit. Some sort of compromise has to be reached and it should not involve sacrificing your well-being. If you keep allowing yourself to be stretched too soon, it will continue to happen!

Photo: PhoenixRisingCollective
Photo: PhoenixRisingCollective

2. To fulfill your most important commitments in your life

We have our priorities outlined according to the people or things we wish to give our undivided time and attention to. In order to be fully present when it matters, we have to stop saying “maybe” or “yes” to the fillers (i.e., things we want no parts of or simply cannot commit to). It will be difficult but give those fillers a hard “no” and you will immediately feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Understandably, it’s challenging to want to be everywhere at once and everything to everybody. You don’t want to miss anything, but you will thank yourself for it. Throw overcommitment out of your life’s equation.

3. To be selfish with your time (and be ok with it)

By all means, if you do have the time and energy to take on extra things, go right ahead — but only on your own terms. The most important thing is to not feel pressured into saying “yes” all the time. There is nothing like being “present” for the things and people that matter the most — the bigger “yes” that is burning inside.

“No is a complete sentence.” – Oprah


What are some approaches to “no” that have given you success?