Build Your Success By Saying ‘No’

“If you want to be successful, this is an invitation to say ‘no’ to the things that don’t really matter, so you have the time, the energy, motivation, and passion to say ‘yes’ to the things you care about.”

As Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, has used the phrase “If you want to be successful, you will have to learn how to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the great.  This statement is so powerful and when I share it with clients, they see how many times they say ‘yes’ to things that might not be empowering them.

Saying ‘no’ can be uncomfortable; we want to please people, we don’t want to be alone, we don’t want to let others down, or perhaps we fear that people will not like us if we start saying ‘no.’

The truth is the word ‘no’ triggers all sorts of emotions within us all.  We recall being denied as a child or the rejection that came due to a request.  Forget to mention the ramifications that we are left with processing another’s change in character toward us.   The word ‘no’ is something that the wealthiest, most successful people on the planet use everyday, and if we want to be successful, then saying ‘no’ must become a part of our regular vocabulary. Saying ‘no’ is not personal, it is merely a matter of a quick assessment – will saying ‘yes’ to this get me closer to my goal?  If not, the answer is ‘no.’

Everyday you have hundreds of chances to say yes or no. Every time you say ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’, you cheat yourself and the project, or person you said yes to.  This is why you ultimately are left with resenting all of the commitments made where you should have really said ‘no’.  Don’t be surprised when the emotion of anger also shows up!

Here are three key questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’:

  • Is this response moving me closer to what I want to create in my life?
  • Is this response moving me further away from what I want to create in my life?
  • Is this answer allowing me to be authentic and true to me to follow whats important?

Your life right now is a result of what you have chosen to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to.  If you want a different outcome, then it is time to start saying ‘no’.

The more successful you become, the more demands you will get for your time, money and all sorts of things.

Saying no, does not require a length explanation or any justification.  Be sincere and acknowledge that your intentions mean well but this ‘does not align with you right now’, or it is not ‘the right time’ or you are ‘not the best person for the project’.

Remember that no doesn’t mean, “no, never, I hate you and the idea.” it simply means “no, not now.

If something does not take you toward your dreams or allow you to create what you want in your life, then ‘no’ is perfectly fine.

People will love you for who you are and how you treat them.  Be respectful and gracious when saying ‘no’,  but do what is best for you.  Saying ‘no’ requires confidence, being bold and trusting your gut.  It also demonstrates an individual who is clear on their goals and values their time.  Setting boundaries is essential in business.  Being able to create healthy boundaries will lead to greater productivity and will free you up to do more of the things that create the life you want to live.

Please comment below with I will say no to ____________, so I can say yes to _______________. Your answers will be inspiring to others and to future yes/no decisions.


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