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Own your “no”

Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.

Own your "no"

Saying "no" may seem like a negative thing, but it can be one of the most positive and empowering actions you can take.  It's not just about turning down requests, it's about setting boundaries and taking control of your life, and it's a skill we can all develop. 

What is one thing you have said "yes" to recently that you wish you had said "no" to? Write it down.

Consider: what positive impact could saying "no" have on your life and relationships?

Practice: saying "no" to small things to build your confidence and develop the skill of saying "no".

Decide to: pause and reflect before saying "yes". Consider your own needs and priorities before committing.

Choose your words wisely

Do you automatically say "yes" to any new request that comes your way, without taking the time to evaluate its impact on your time and energy? We often say "yes" to avoid disappointing others or being seen as unhelpful, but constantly saying "yes" can lead to burnout, stress, and a lack of control over our own lives. 

So how can we say "no" when necessary while maintaining healthy relationships?


In his book "The Power of a Positive No," negotiation expert William Ury provides a framework for saying "no" in a way that is constructive and respectful. The approach is called the "positive no", and it involves three steps:

  1. Start with a "Yes": Affirm your interests, values, and needs by stating what you can agree to or what you value.
  2. State your "No" clearly and respectfully: Be honest and clear about your refusal while also being considerate and respectful to the other person.
  3. End with a "Yes" to the relationship: Offer an alternative solution that meets both parties' needs and values while also honouring your boundaries.

Ury suggests using these phrases instead of saying "no" to keep the conversation open and positive:

So what action will you take this week to own your "no"?

Love your Mondays.