Learning To Say No

Published by Hayley Gillard on

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.

One really big lesson came out of our session for her that I think we can all learn from.

Learning 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?



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 ours or our family’s 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.

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 sanity. Your time is precious and of course there are odd 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’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 you think you may need to create better boundaries, you’ll love my blog here.

For tips and advice about things like this topic, and so much more, I’d love you to join us in Self-Belief School – my free Facebook community for female entrepreneurs. We have weekly live training about subjects to improve your mindset (and therefore your business success).

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