By Debbie PetersonSpeaker, Corporate Trainer and Coach.

There was a time in my life where I was a “YES” woman!

I wanted to be positive. Yes!
I wanted to be part of the solution. Yes!
I wanted to be seen as a team player. Yes!

In hindsight I can see how that attitude, although honorable, was destructive and kept me in a vicious circle of people pleasing and perfectionism. It was “Anti-Confidence” building.

“NO”, although small in stature, packs a big punch and is a necessary vocabulary word for any professional woman looking to build self-esteem, confidence and increase influence in her career.

Many women I talk to have trouble with the word No and I’ve come across plenty of men with the same issue.

Why? It’s such a little word; just two letters, one syllable but it can create such stress in your life!

You do things you don’t want to, you spend time away from the people and things you love, you end up with too many things to do and not enough time to do them.

Whether it happens at work or at home, NO needs to become a bigger part of your life.

So like any good matchmaker I’m going to give you the 411 on “No” and hope that the chemistry between you is really good!

Here’s what you need to know about NO.

No is a complete sentence. Sometimes it’s what comes after the word no that gets us in trouble. You say no and then…that uncomfortable silence! You start chattering away and back pedaling to justify your no and before you know it, you’ve said yes – again. Once you say No, zip it. Don’t say another word. Let the other person deal with the silence.

NOT saying No is disrespectful…to you! When you say yes to what someone else wants, you’re actually saying No to yourself. When you say No to yourself you are saying that what you want isn’t important which leads to poor self-esteem. That’s disrespect with a capital D! It’s also not healthy because you are living with someone else’s boundaries imposed upon you because you haven’t enforced your own.

Saying No IS a sign of confidence. I don’t think there’s a woman out there who doesn’t want more confidence career or in another area of life. Have you ever asked someone to do something and they said No? You were impressed. You respected them for having the ability to say no and guard their time for what is most important. Giving a thoughtful No, because you are aligned with who you are and what is most important to you, is a sure sign of confidence.

Saying No isn’t mean or uncaring. Saying no shouldn’t be a harsh answer. It should be thoughtful and come from the heart. Say what you need to say and forget about the excuses. You’re not being mean or uncaring. No when fully considered and delivered in a calm manner is healthy. If you can’t say it that way, there is something more on your end that needs to be resolved so you can.

Build your No muscle. The more you use it, the easier it gets. Think about the opportunities that are a little easier for you to say No. Start using your “No” muscle there. Build small wins and then expand your new relationship with No into career and other areas your life.

Before you know it, you and No will be on your way to a fantastic relationship. The time, energy and resources you keep for yourself will allow you to say “yes” to other things that are more meaningful to you.

Until next time, here’s wishing you the clarity you deserve!


P.S. Share this with a woman that needs to hear the message!