3 Ways to Say No and Bring More Balance to Your Life

What are you saying no to today? This is the sticky note I leave posted to my desktop screen, right next to my Girl Boss paper weight. When I first started my business, I thought I had to keep everyone happy, say yes to everything, and constantly put myself out there, otherwise I wouldn’t be successful.

Needless to say, a few months into running my online coaching practice I was burnt out. I was attending every networking event, volunteering my time in too many places, and was averaging about $8/hour in wages once I calculated the total amount of hours I was putting in.

how to say no

A few weeks into burn out, I realized I needed some help and it was time to start strategically saying no to some things. It was the Summer of last year, and I had absolutely no time for myself, my dog, or my life partner. It was outrageous. So, what did I do? I hired my own coach.

My coach and I started breaking down the layers of my “need to please,” and I realized I have a web of identity that is looped in with achievement, both inside my business and inside my life. What I learned from the exercises I completed with Aly of Inclusive Coach is that I did not have to listen to these patterns any longer.

By speaking of this journey and admitting that I needed help, I came up with three key ways to say no confidently, knowing that I would be a better and happier version of myself by doing so. Hopefully you can learn from this journey and start to say no like a champ as well!

1. Does it benefit you?

If not, why are you doing it? I went on hundreds of coffee dates in my first year of business and I think most of them were a waste of everyone’s time. Now, if someone asks me to grab a coffee with them, I ask them what their goal for the meeting is, and if that goal is not clear, or does not seem mutually beneficial, then I do not go. Be strategic with who you spend your time with, share your thoughts with, or brainstorm ideas with.

2. What are your goals?

When I first launched my business I wanted to impact the world and I was measuring everything I could think of to do it. Now, instead of worrying about likes and followers, I worry about the results my clients are getting and whether they feel like spreading the word of what career coaching can do. Every action I take, I now look at in the context of my mission statement and determine if it is a good fit. If something isn’t in alignment with your goals, simply say no.

3. What do you want more of?

One of the key reasons I went into business for myself was that I wanted more sleep in my life, and time to walk my dog every day. When I took time to realize what I was doing, and what I really wanted, everything shifted. Ask yourself this simple question, “What do I want more of in my life?,” and make time for that. Whenever you are deciding whether to say yes or no to something, come back to that question and only agree if it aligns with what you are working towards, or wanting in your life.


How do you gracefully handle saying no?