One Word Can Change Your Life: NO

NO is the word that can change your life. For the men and women who’ve grown up as people-pleasers, learning to say “no” is an act of self-preservation. People who find themselves overwhelmed, constantly missing deadlines, or always overscheduled, can learn to say “no” as a skill-development commitment that improves health, happiness, productivity, and friendships. NO to someone invading your space or attacking you is a complete sentence according to my self-defense class instructor Chris Kent.

NO really can change your life and your children’s for the better. NO is a boundary-setting tool that protects your time, resources, and energy. NO is a life-safety tool for children at every stage of development. In today’s teen and adult discussions about consent or no-consent, teaching our children to say NO and to hear NO and respect it is increasingly important.

“Getting to yes” and “a year of yes” books plead cases for saying “yes” – in which of course there is value. However, a person who can say YES and NO equally well and in all of the appropriate circumstances is likely to be a happier, healthier and more productive person.

Learning to say no continues to be discussed in business, personal, and self-development arenas. For instance, the current issue of Bella Grace‘s quarterly magazine has “65 Heart & Soul-Saving Reasons to Say No” that is an inspiring collection from readers about saying no, and why one should.

Individuals, teams, and boards all have opportunities to say NO. “No, that doesn’t fit our mission or purpose so we won’t fund it.” Or, “no, we don’t have the budget to add those features.” Or, “No, the timetable doesn’t allow us to take on another project at this time.” Productive people, teams, and boards know when to say YES and when to say NO.

Saying NO with grace is key. My favorite phrase: “No, thanks for thinking of me.”

To learn more about saying “no” check out my book “No: How One Simple Word Can Transform Your Life”

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