One of the shortest and simplest words causes even the most confident people stress. Most people say "no" because they would rather sacrifice their time and energy, than cause conflict or experience feelings of guilt. It takes practice to step outside your comfort zone, but the sacrifice will be well worth it. How many of you have said "yes" to someone, knowing your true intention is to say no? How many times have you said "yes" to something, thus creating overobligation and more stress? It may be time to put yourself and your priorities first, while learning it's ok to say "no" and let go of the guilt associated with it. By saying "no" you are not only being true to yourself, but respecting all those people asking things of you.


1. Get your priorities straight

What's most important to you? Write this down and look at it often. Once you clarify what exactly you want for yourself, it will be easier to stop saying "yes" to things that get in the way. Your time and energy are extremely valuable, choose wisely.

2. Stop focusing on being "nice"

If you say "yes" just to be nice, chances are you'll follow through half-heartedly. This will most likely not go over very well with the person who asked you, and you won't feel very good about yourself either. Only say "yes" if you truly intend to follow through. This week take a minute before responding to a request. Take some time to figure out the underlying reason why you are saying 'yes'.

3. Saying "no" is simply refusing the request

You have every right to say no without giving a reason. Remember that you are simply refusing the request, not rejecting the person. Again, practice saying "no" this week to requests that are not in alignment with your highest priorities.

Have a great week!

Author's Bio: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Leslie Gail is a Certified Life Coach and owner of New Life Focus Coaching. Leslie conducts seminars, appears regularly on a morning radio show, KOSI 101.1 in Denver, and publishes articles in The Rocky Mountain News. Leslie sends out a newsletter via e-mail every Monday morning, entitled “Monday Morning Tips”, that will jumpstart your life every week. Sign up for these tips directly at . Leslie supports her clients in achieving personal and professional success without compromising their values. Contact Leslie directly at or call (866) 779-0731.