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Learning the art of saying, ‘NO’

Learning the art of saying, ‘NO’

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Want to learn to say NO without feeling guilty and set healthy boundaries in your life?  A little difficult, maybe! But that’s because you are used to our own patterns of living a life that others want us to lead. You find it easier to follow someone else or fulfil their expectations as it earns you either some validation or something else. This becomes a habit and before you know it; you are engulfed into a life that perhaps keeps everyone else happy other than yourself. So, when do you start putting your needs before others? To live a full, authentic and joyful life, personal and healthy boundaries are a must.


Most people don’t get classes on how to set healthy boundaries. Rarely, did my parents sit us kids down to teach us about saying “NO” the way they might about saying, “Thank You”.  I would not dare to say “NO”. It was a constant fear standing up for my needs and wants, even when the consequences of holding back the truth is life-altering; feeling guilty and undeserving. 

It’s not easy to assert your own needs, to speak vulnerably about what you want and to put your needs in front of others.

We all crave love and fear that by saying “NO”, we will make those around us love us less (or worse yet, stop loving us altogether).

So, instead, we love ourselves less and sacrifice who we are, with the hope to hold onto love from others. This begs the question – If someone is to love you any less for speaking from your heart and for loving yourself, did they love the real you anyway?

Of course, once you begin setting boundaries, it may take people a little while to get used to your new ways, but those who truly love you, will love and respect you more (in the long run) for being authentic.

YOU will love yourself more too!

Self-love is simply amazing!

Start here for steps to Healthy boundary-setting:

  1. Tune in to yourself (thoughts, feelings, sensations): When you notice yourself becoming resentful or regularly complaining about someone, notice it! Notice what your body feels like when your experience is that of a victim. These are some straightforward signs that you probably need to set a boundary or two.
  2. Get real with yourself: Ask these questions to make sense of your saying “no” –What’s the cost of saying “yes” when my body and my heart are saying “no”? How does saying “yes” support being authentic and how does it honor my sense of self? How will I feel afterwards, if I say “yes” when I really mean “no”? By saying “no” what are all the things I’m saying “yes” to instead?
  1. Give yourself permission: Saying “yes” to your needs and caring for yourself in this way will lead to self-liberation. You are the most important person in your life. Give yourself permission to choose self-care over self-sabotage. Give yourself permission to say “Yes” to you, to love yourself well, and to live your most authentic life. You so deserve it! 
  1. Baby steps: Start small. Pick a boundary that may feel a little outside of your comfort zone instead of the biggest scariest ones. Like anything else, it’s a process and the more you practice, the easier it gets!
'YES' to Life can empower YOU!

If you don’t feel like you deserve to put yourself first or it’s too scary to assert your authenticity, notice this with a loving eye. Begin to do some deep discovery with yourself on where this belief within your history and how it triggers in your body. Take stock on your self-esteem in other areas of your life, aside from those situations that requires you to set personal boundaries. If this kind of exploration feels too difficult to do alone, consider seeking help to uncover and rebuild your confidence. It’s never too late to begin loving yourself.

When we look within ourselves, connect with ourselves, love ourselves, we generate enough energy to love others and be compassionate towards them. Say NO to what does not serve you; people or situations…the choice is yours to make. Saying YES to all things that are meant for you and keep you happy from within. So, when will you choose to say “Yes” to YOU?


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Mohammed Yousuf
2 months ago

Very insightful article. Once upon a time I felt shy to say no. Nowadays I am not like this.

It’s a very important part in our life to know how to say no.

Thank you Olga

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