“Saying no can be the ultimate self-care.”
Claudia Black


I wonder how many of you reading this newsletter have difficulty saying this word! If you find it easy to do, you’re lucky – or maybe you’ve learned how to do it!

Keeping on with the theme of Overwhelm, I thought it was important to address this topic that, for many of us, is a constant struggle.

Unfortunately, many of us default to YES which leaves us doing things we don’t want to do. And worse, takes precious time away from what we really want to do!

For me, the litmus test is, if a minute after saying YES, I’m kicking myself for it! Then I know should have said NO!

When did we learn that a half-hearted YES was somehow better than an honest NO?? On the road to eliminating Overwhelm in our lives, learning to say NO is an important first step.

All the best!

Kathleen Fanning

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3 Reasons Why YES
May Be Your Default Response

1. You don’t want to let people down!
How many times does that go through your head just before that YES pops out??! And why do we feel that way? A sense of responsibility towards others is good, but for many of us that can be in overdrive.

And just how are we ‘letting them down'’??

If you say YES and then avoid or put off the agreed task, you will, ultimately, let them down! How is that better than an honest NO? This, at least, lets the person make different plans to get the task done. Isn’t that so much better?

And YOU have saved yourself from working under pressure and/or with resentment! Maybe it’s time to not let ourselves down! 

2. You’re a ‘natural’ pleaser.
In his book Positive Intelligence®, Shirzad Chamine describes the characteristics of the Pleaser Saboteur: “Has a strong need to be liked and attempts to earn it by helping, pleasing, rescuing or flattering other people”.

There are also many positive qualities (Sage) associated with being a Pleaser including compassion, empathy and generosity. But when stressed pleasing goes into overdrive, everyone else is placed first and you and your needs/wants end up at the back of the line!

3. You don’t want to be seen as a ‘difficult’ person or a colleague difficult to get along with.
This connects with the Pleaser Saboteur described above who interprets saying NO as being difficult. "Being difficult" is right up there with "being uncooperative" which is also a ‘bad’ thing! So, again, you end up saying YES when you really mean NO!

Very often we make assumptions about other people - and ourselves! Here are a few to consider – and have a gentle, kind laugh about if they are familiar!

  • Believing that if I say no, you’ll be upset or won’t like me.
  • Thinking that your time is more valuable than mine.
  • Thinking (in an odd way) that everything is about me.

So, the next time you open your mouth to say YES... take a breath and decide if that is REALLY what you want to say!

In my next newsletter...

We will discuss The Cost of Excessive ‘YES-ing’ and some tips for changing this costly pattern.

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Positive (Sage) versus the negative (Saboteur).

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Kathleen Fanning
Kathleen Fanning Coaching