10 Reasons Saying No Will Improve Your Life

Saying No will improve your life

When the average woman (and man) looks to improve her life, she often focuses on the prominent areas. These include health, workout and weight, productivity, appearance, sleep, studies, relationships, career or business, finances, financial management, and more. I guess those are the first things that come to your mind, too.

Little do many know that the practice of saying ‘No’ will benefit and give them a better life. That’s right! Simply saying ‘No’ can drastically and dramatically change your life for the better.

You’re probably wondering how that is, right? Don’t worry. We’ll get to that shortly. I’ll give you ten (10) reasons saying no will improve your life.

If you are like many women, saying “No” as often as you need to might make you uneasy and bring a lot of guilt—even when you act like it doesn’t. Another reason you might object to turning down some requests and offers as a lady is that it often feels wrong—like you’re being rude or self-serving—saying no.

And you might want to avoid those feelings or the uncomfortable stare and reaction you get from people. But instead of avoiding it, if you reframe what you think about the subject, you might find things a lot better and easier.

Saying “No” isn’t refusing to be human or good. It recognising your boundaries and respects them. It is realising your limits as a woman and maximising your girl-power to do what you can and improve your life.

What saying No Is and what it is Not

Let me ask. Are you seeing things differently—especially from that last paragraph? I think those three sentences are crucial to successfully turn things down and improve your life.

So, please reread that paragraph and let those words sink in.

Before diving into the benefits (or reasons) your life will be better for turning down people, advances, requests, or anything else, I must clarify what saying “No” is and is not.

saying no will improve your life

Before diving into the benefits (or reasons) your life will be better for turning down people, advances, requests, or anything else, I must clarify what saying “No” is and is not.

  • It isn’t running away from responsibility. Running away from responsibility will only make you irresponsible and worsen things for you. If you must grow, if you must be better, you will have to accept responsibility for many things throughout your life.

Saying “No” isn’t abdicating your responsibilities. It simply means knowing when you have more than you can handle on your plate and making a conscious effort to find the sweet spot between ‘enough’ and ‘a little more.’ Operating in that sweet spot helps you stretch and grow, but be sure you’re not overdoing it.

  • It isn’t mindlessly blurting out the word “No”: That’s right! Just because your life will be better for knowing and respecting your boundaries and limits doesn’t mean you decline every offer without thinking. I’m sure you know that, but I have to emphasise it.

Sometimes, opportunities, a good relationship, and more will come around in ways you don’t expect. Think things through so you’re clear on what to turn down or accept.

  • Is not procrastinating or putting off what you should do until later: This is another vital point to note. Saying “No” isn’t pushing things off until tomorrow only so you can frolic around today and do nothing. Procrastination never improves the quality of life.
  • Is self-discipline in action: While some people might interpret saying “No” as a weakness, the fact is, being able to turn things down is strength—it takes discipline to say, “That’s more than I can handle, so please delegate it to someone else,” or “I won’t be able to do that this week because my week is already booked full,” or “I’ve had enough,” or “Not at this time,” or even a hard “No.” 

You cannot possibly do everything. It takes real discipline to channel all your efforts into the things that you can do and be better for. Why take on more than you can handle? It makes no sense and will only cause you to break down or look bad in the long run.

  • That doesn’t mean you never offer help: Humans were made to be interdependent. You will always need people in your life. You cannot do it all by yourself. As a businesswoman, student, or career woman, there are many things you will need other humans to do for you. And it’s only fair that you reciprocate.

Better than reciprocating, initiating help or offering it when you can make you look like the good woman you are. We all need each other to survive. So, help when you can. But this doesn’t mean throwing away your own life and going out to be there for every Tom, Dick, and Harry, or every Jane and Janet.

Even when you say no right, people will react differently, and that’s okay. You must know what to expect, and that’s the goal of this small section. Some reactions you will get from people when you decline their requests, offers, and advances include

  1. Withdrawal: Some people will pull away for a while
  2. Revenge: Some people will seek to do theirs when you ask, too, not understanding why you turned them down. But that’s okay.
  3. Respect (This one’s huge, but more on it later)
  4. Avoidance: Some people will start to give you space
  5. Understanding/Misunderstanding: Some will understand you, some won’t.
  6. Mixed feelings
  7. Emotional Blackmail

The list is longer than that. But I believe you get the idea, right? To make it easier for all parties, try to explain why you turn them down where necessary.

Now let’s get into the ten reasons saying no will improve your life. Shall we?



1. Helps You Eliminate Stress And Anxiety:

Have you ever accepted to take on a project or do something that you knew you couldn’t fully deliver on but chose to do it, anyway? Every time you thought about it (after accepting) and how you couldn’t deliver, how did you feel?

Some of the stressors in your life result from your inability to decline requests.

Disregarding your feelings, values, or ideas might seem unselfish, but what good is it if it only adds to your anxiety and increases your stress?

Instead of trying out every new coaching program on relieving stress and anxiety, learn to turn down some tasks, and you’ll likely find your worries equally reduced.

2. Helps You Focus On The Things That Matter:

Speaking about improving your life, how else will you see any positive changes if you cannot focus on the things that truly matter to your career, business, studies, or life in general?

And how will you be able to zero in on those things if you are being pulled in a thousand directions by everyone’s requests and desires except yours?

I’m sure you know the answer to those questions. So, please get in the habit of saying no when it will deter you from the essential things in your life.

This might be declining a request to work during the weekend, so you can invest time in your relationships with your family, friends, boyfriend (or significant other if you have one).

It’s also okay to turn down such an offer so you can rest and rejuvenate.

3. Helps You Become Productive:

Sometimes, productivity isn’t the result of working harder or smarter. It is simply the result of taking on less and cranking out the best results you can from your activities.

4. Helps You Declutter Your Time:

Girl, it’s okay to have enough ‘me’ time for yourself. You are a whole being, and you need the time off now and then.

If you’re going to experience growth, positivity and see changes in your life, you need time; not just the passing of it, but some free time to be you and do you. You need time for your relationships and everything else.

Life’s such that whoever controls your time controls your life. If you look through your last week, month, or even your entire life and discover it has been filled with pretty much everyone’s requests but yours, you haven’t been in charge of your life. Other people have been deciding the quality of your life.

You need to be in control of your time to control your life. And until you are in charge of your life, you cannot improve it.

5. Improves Your Mental Health:

Saying No can help you improve your mental health, but you need to be okay with it without feeling guilty every time you turn someone down. Constantly guilt-tripping yourself when you decline requests or offers will only mess with your mind and inner space.

It’s equally as bad as taking on more than you can handle.

As I mentioned earlier, the key to eliminating the quilt is to see it for what it is: saying no is simply recognising your limits and boundaries and respecting that. You cannot do it all by yourself. You’re human.

I’ve already mentioned how not saying yes to everything can relieve stress and reduce anxiety. It can also eliminate (or prevent) the series of other negative states that come with taking too much and underperforming. One such state is depression which results from comparing yourself with someone in charge of their lives and taking on only what they can handle.

Being able to say no can also improve your self-esteem, confidence, and more – all things you need for a better life.

6. Reduces Your Suffering:

If many women were to admit it, they’re suffering. I’m sure you want to understand what I mean by that. Here it is: It is suffering to constantly take on too many things simultaneously and resent the person you said yes to and yourself for offering and accepting, respectively.

The above is the everyday life of many people. Can I ask? Does that in any way describe you too? It might even be your story right now.

What’s worse is to live in this cycle endlessly. It would seem that you will stop this bad habit after happening once or twice, but the reality is that many ladies continue in this cycle to please others or not seem like nasty or rude people. Girl, you need to break out of it and not apologise for it.

7. Improves Your Physical Health:

I believe you must have realised by now that you do not have infinite energy. I also think you must have learned that your health is vital. Your health is crucial to your being here and functioning maximally.

Saying no can save you from depleting your much-needed energy, give you enough time to rest, and heal from a hard day’s work.

Stress is a major killer. And working round the clock just to meet up with responsibilities and deadlines or to please someone is a sure way to land yourself in a hospital for stress-related issues or outright sickness.

According to mentalhealth.org.uk, about 74% of adults in the UK have felt so stressed they could not cope. According to that report, 83% of women felt this way compared to 69% of men. One report outrightly stated that globally, 110,000,000 (i.e. one hundred and ten million) people die annually due to stress.

I didn’t add those numbers to scare you but to help you see that it’s a common issue, and you don’t want to be one of the statistics.

8. Saying No is Self-care:

If your talk about self-care doesn’t include saying no, then you are yet to begin. I know you want that treat and that beautiful handbag and all the other good things to match.

But caring for yourself with respecting your feelings enough not to burden them with more when they are screaming “no more.”

9. Saying No Will Give You Respect And Help Others Know Your Boundaries:

Somehow, it seems like the world—people—just dump stuff on people with no boundaries. To make matters worse, human beings seem to respect the person who respects her boundaries and says no more than the one who accepts everything.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly not going to be the one they dump stuff on. I care about being respected, too.

Declining offers, requests, or simply saying no to enticing stuff will give you the respect you have been looking for. You deserve to be treated like a queen.

People respect you when you have healthy boundaries because they see you as having healthy self-esteem and self-confidence. As a result, they are more considerate of your feelings and have more regard for them.

10. Saying No Saves You From The Stress Of Over-committing:

We’ve all been here before, and I’ve mentioned it one way or the other above, so I’ll not stress the point. But if you stop saying yes to everything, you won’t find yourself in the muddy waters of over-committing and stressing yourself to deliver on your word. Stop putting your integrity on the line unnecessarily.

Bonus Point

11. Saying No Is—And Builds—Your The Power Of Resisting Temptation:

Saying no is the power of being able to resist temptation. This one doesn’t only have to do with someone else offering. It covers resisting your urges and desires when you know they will lead you into trouble or result in some form of problems in the long term.

But that’s not all. Saying no also builds and reinforces your power to resist temptation. So the more you say no, the stronger and more confident you get at saying no.

I have gone through several ways and reasons saying no will improve your life. I have covered affected areas such as your time, physical and mental health, productivity, respect, confidence and self-esteem, and more. All these are areas you should focus on making your life better, and saying no affects them.

Contrary to what you might think that saying no is a bad thing, especially since we’ve all been taught to be polite and sound, it is a good practice that can make your life much better and worth living.

So, learn to say no more often and say no fast – and without apologies!

Final word: Saying no is just one way to improve your life. I have many other blog posts here with practical tips for creating a better life. If you’ve been stressed because of your inability to say no, you can learn a lot from a previous post: How to overcome stress

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Hi! I'm Dr Jessica

I share my expertise as a Family Physician to provide you with the support and tools to a holistic lifestyle.

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