The importance of saying – ‘No.’

How many times have you heard this -“be a Yes person.”? People often tell us that we need to say yes to all opportunities that come our way or simply commit to things at work, no matter what. However, have you wondered what that really does to you? Often, being the yes person could make you over commit at work or even in life. Not only can it drain your energies but also make you unproductive.  It is all about putting your act together to set your boundaries right. And no, I am not asking you to say NO to everything in life. 🙂 You’ll see what I mean…


It is important to set certain boundaries to master skills important for both, personal and professional development. And one of the most important aspects of setting good boundaries revolves around the art of saying NO. It is the most difficult word for a lot of people. However, before I go on to say why, No, is an important word. You must read how saying yes to different thing simultaneously,  time affects you.

  • It derails you from your priorities, as your focus changes, from one task to another. Thus, it makes you drift from your core commitments.
  • It makes you a slave of your time because you have to fit in multiple things to complete the other things you’ve said ‘yes’ to.
  • It makes you take hasty decisions because you get habituated to saying yes and then regretting later.

On the flip side, when you choose to consciously say NO to situations, things or people, it helps you increase your

  1. Motivation: This is a big one and I’ll explain the same with an example. I went on a detox 3 months back and then continued with a diet as a lifestyle. During this process, I chose to say ‘NO’ to processed food, oily meals or fried foods. I could see the transformation happening. This slowly changed my mindset to say NO outside food and have healthy home-cooked meals. This is just one area, but when you start seeing results you know what you need to do: say NO to certain things.
  2. Productivity: Before you say yes to any kind of work, think, how does it affect your time and consequently, your productivity. If you accept something, it would affect your professional and personal life.Would you be sacrificing any other commitments? If you say yes to these, you’d know that you need to say NO to the task you’d be choosing.
  3. Ability to decide better: Largely, situations demand us makes well-thought-through decisions. An instant yes or even a no might not be the best thing to do. Once you consciously choose to evaluate situations, you decide to say NO to things where they are truly required.
  4. Willpower: Borrowing it from the first point, when you know what is the right decision for you, you develop the will power to say NO to things that really hinder your progress and growth.
  5. Ability to simplify: When you eliminate certain situations, tasks and things from your life, not only are you de-cluttering your life and making it simple but also make it a habit.

Having mentioned all the above, I must add, you need to realize that you need to be firm but polite in your NO. It is integral to show respect towards the feelings and opinions of others. It is crucial to establish boundaries, express well and earn the respect.


Now, you tell me: Are you a yes person or do you strategically say NO? If you do the latter, how do you do it? Write it in the comments below.


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Copyright, 2016.

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