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One Simple Word That Can Change Your Life

One Simple Word that can change your life Hayley Gillard

Overcoming Overwhelm

This week I’ve been coaching a lovely lady who got in touch because she felt completely overwhelmed. She runs her own business, is moving house, has two young children and also suffered a family bereavement. Things were bubbling over and she needed some help prioritising and focusing to be able to move things forward successfully.

Sound like your own life? Maybe you’re someone who has your nose to the grind stone, or you’re a professional plate juggler but know that one tiny knock and all the plates will come crashing down.

It’s super easy to keep on keeping on, pushing and pushing, harder and harder, KNOWING you’re on the edge of breaking but feeling like if you stop you’ll never get back up. I get it.


I want to share with you one simple, teeny tiny, easy peasy word that can completely transform this.


Learn To Say No.

Taking on jobs we don’t want to do, working with clients we don’t want to, going to events we don’t want to, taking the kids to that birthday party you really don’t want them to go to but feel the pressure to attend. Sound familiar?

Learning to say no! It’s so liberating! It’s a life changer in fact!

No, I don’t want to spend my Friday night watching football.

No, I don’t want to go to your 3 year old’s ball pool party and pretend I love listening to shrieking kids.

No, I don’t want to work with the client who asks for a discount and is then late in paying.

Saying yes to everything, often leads to overwhelm.

It can make us feel like we’re trying to keep up with the Jones’, that we’re not being our true authentic selves, or can actually mean we’re spending money (of which we may have little) on doing things that don’t light up our own or our families’ souls. I know I’ve felt exhausted in the past from too many freelance jobs happening at the same time because I didn’t want to burn any bridges by turning them down.  I know I’ve felt obliged to attend parties where I didn’t know anyone, have no inclination to meet new people and actually would rather curl up on the sofa with ice cream and Netflix.

How To Start Saying No.

It’s hard to say no at the start though. We worry what people may think of us. We worry we’ll sound offensive or even be judged as uptight and snooty.

But, I encourage you to try it – for your own wellbeing and self-care. Your time is precious and of course there are occasions we have to attend that we don’t really want to, but the emotional drain of doing things we don’t want to is a big one.


Next time a night out is organised and you just don’t fancy it, politely decline.
Next time a client you don’t want to work with is hassling you, tell them you don’t think you’re a good match and move on.
You don’t even need to give excuses! Practice being assertive and putting boundaries in place. Protect your time. You won’t ever get it back!
You’ll release negative feelings, you’ll be acting kinder to yourself and you’ll free up valuable time to spend on the things, and with the people you really love.


If it feels awkward for you try some of these lighter-touch ways of saying no without making it totally blunt:

“I’m sorry I’m so busy at the moment I just need some time to recuperate”

“Hmm I’m currently saving for XYZ so can’t afford to do that with you right now”

“Ahhh thats not really my cup of tea, perhaps we could do X instead?”

“I’m tired and just feel like curling up in a ball, it’s been a crazy week, you understand I’m sure”

“Thanks so much for the offer, I can’t make it this time I’m afraid, maybe next time?”


If you’d like some help learning to say no or with dealing with an overwhelming situation one to one coaching may help you. Take a look at my one to one coaching opportunities here.


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