saying noLet’s face it.

It isn’t easy for some people to start saying no without feeling guilty.

I used to be one of those ‘some people’.

And it wasn’t easy for someone with that oh so common disease…’the desire to please’ such as I had, to give myself permission to say ‘NO’!

And it took a while to get to the stage where  I could say no, without feelings of guilt or believing that I was somehow mean or selfish. Or thinking that I must be a bad person!

We all have our own doubts, our own challenges as we grow and develop ourselves to become greater than the person we were yesterday and saying ‘yes’ when, to be fair to yourself and others, you really need to say no is a surefire path to stress and burnout.

So my challenge for you today is to look at where you find it hard to say no.

And just in case this is a struggle for you, here’s some thoughts to help you stay strong as you begin to find your inner 2 year old and say ‘no’ when you really need to.


  1. “There are often many things we feel we should do that, in fact, we don’t really have to do. Getting to the point where we can tell the difference is a major milestone in the simplification process.” –  Elaine St. James
  2. “No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that. When we don’t want to do something we can simply smile and say no.
  3. Early on my journey I found developing the ability to say no expanded my ability to say yes and really mean it.” – Susan Gregg
  4. “Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” –  Richie Norton
  5. “It takes effort to say no when our heart and brains and guts and, most important, pride are yearning to say yes. Practice.” – Cole Harmonson
  6. “Tone is the hardest part of saying no.”  – Jonathan Price
  7. “Information overload (on all levels) is exactly WHY you need an “ignore list”. It has never been more important to be able to say “No.” –  Mani S. Sivasubramanian
  8. “We must say “no” to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else’s. We must say “no.”  – Suzette R. Hinton
  9. “If something is not a “hell, YEAH!”, then it’s a “no!” – James Altucher
  10. “When you say no to the wrong people, it opens up the space for the right people to come in.”  – Joe Calloway
  11. “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” – Paul Coehlo

Whatever you do, don’t sacrifice yourself on the alter of the desire to please.

Promise yourself that you will always remember you are deserving of choosing your yes’s and your no’s. The ability to say “no” as and when you need to is one of the most freeing things in life. And it’s yours for the taking.

Take it now.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle




Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Love these, Elle. I’m so much better at saying “no” than I was a few years ago. I agree with the sentiment behind these quotes wholeheartedly.

    • I’m with you there Debbie…it’s always easy to speak about where we’ve been and what we experienced. Sounds like we’ve both been in the same place! 🙂

  2. Lawrence Ozeh

    To start off on the right foot and cut this right to the real thing, I have to point out that it is always better to give a false negative response rather than a false positive one.


    When you say yes to someone, it’s always HARD to change your response when you eventually change your mind.

    But if you had said no at the beginning, saying yes can be as easy as ABC.

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