Knowing when and how to say "no" is a constant battle for many people. This becomes especially difficult for business professionals who are looking to please and impress higher-ups. Almost from birth, the world has conditioned us to do what others ask without question for any number of reasons. We, too often, get pushed and pulled in all sorts of awkward directions that had not been on our intended agenda due to the inability to confidently speak that singular two-letter word.

Why do we allow ourselves to be ruled by people or things that make us uncomfortable? Does going the extra mile for that prospect result in cognitive dissonance in regards to your own morals? Is the undue stress caused by bending over backward for an overbearing manager worth the possible reward? What value does inviting such negativity into our lives really afford us?

Just say "NO".

Saying "no" is a very reasonable response to any request no matter how big or small. If you can't do what is being asked or even just don't want to, it is truly okay to say "no". No further explanation is required. The fact that you don't want to is more than enough reason. If you are a person that has trouble saying "no" outright then respond by saying "I'll consider it and get back to you". This is alright too. It is much better to give no commitment at all than to commit to something you didn't want to do in the first place. Mastering the art of delegation is another way to lessen the burden of being so agreeable. Don't be afraid to request help from others of similar competence. By delegating tasks that you are either unwilling or unable to perform, you can focus your attention on matters that are more pressing or important to you.

There is so much additional stress that develops when a person attempts to perform a task unwillingly. Think about times when you have worked at something you truly enjoyed. How easy was it for you to complete the task successfully? Now think about a time when you have agreed to a task that was not really your cup of tea but you just couldn't say "no". Did you give the task your complete 100%? Was the task completed and completed on schedule? How did you feel during the process?

Saying "no" firmly and asserting your position can give you power beyond your wildest dreams. Speaking "no" is to overcome your fear of rejection. It is to embrace independence. It is to get in touch with your true values. What do you stand for? How do you want to live your day? Saying "no" gives you back the control over how and with whom your time and energy is spent. So where does one begin? By just choosing the positive power of saying "NO".

Author's Bio: 

Niquenya D. Fulbright is a Chicago area executive life coach, professional speaker and corporate trainer with over 10 years experience specializing in business, career, life and relationship coaching. Niquenya motivates small business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, groups, and individuals in a career or life transition to use their innate abilities to master their goals and achieves successes beyond their wildest dreams. For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit, send inquiry to or call 773-368-3575. Most coaching sessions are performed via telephone. Other consulting services also available.