It’s so much easier to say “yes” than it is to say “no” but oftentimes we overwhelm ourselves by saying “yes” when we really want to say “no.”

This is in large part due to the fact that we are hard-wired to please people. It can be uncomfortable to tell someone “no” because we don’t like how it feels to disappoint someone. Some of us are also afraid of conflict and – in an effort to avoid it – will be more agreeable than we actually want to be.

In today’s fast-paced, high-tech world, burnout has become an epidemic. That’s why it’s vital for your well-being to know when to say yes and how to say no.

When To Say Yes

The basic answer to the question of when to say yes is, when it feels right to you. Deep inside, we know what we want to do but when a question arises that we feel compelled to say “no” to, chances are a quick introspection might reveal the reason you’re saying no is actually out of fear.

Yes Can Be Powerful

Saying yes to opportunities for advancement, learning, growth, and excitement can lead to countless new experiences that will enrich your life.

Say Yes to Yourself

The word “yes,” however, isn’t just for others. It’s important for us to also say “Yes” to ourselves. To give ourselves permission to just go for it!

This can be difficult if you are surrounded by nay-sayers but, trust me, even though friends, family, and colleagues might mean well, at the end of the day it’s your life and although having moral support is a powerful tool, sometimes you have to trust yourself enough to do what you want to do. For example, when I was in a similar situation and I knew I needed to make some changes to bring balance to my life, I had to tell myself “yes.”

Take a Breather

While saying yes can lead to adventure and growth, be sure that you’re not spreading yourself too thin by agreeing too often. Before you say yes to someone, take a deep breath. Give yourself that little extra time to focus on what you truly want before you agree to it. Breathing is a powerful way to regroup and center yourself.

How to Say No

Strangely, one of the smallest words is also one of the most difficult for many of us to say but knowing different ways to say no can help alleviate our fear of conflict and propel us towards a more fulfilling life.

Resist The Urge to Explain

You don’t really need to explain why you are saying no which is something many people struggle with. The truth is, if the person you’re saying “no” to wants to know why, you can choose to explain it but the reality is, it’s your choice to say no regardless of the reason(s).

Take Some Time

While it’s not a good idea to leave people hanging in the air, sometimes it’s helpful to tell them you will get back to them or ask them to let you think on it. This gives you time to evaluate the situation and decide if you want to say yes or no.

Keep it Simple

Keep your answer simple. Sometimes simply saying, “Thank you so much for asking me. While it is not something I’d like to do, please know how honored I am that you felt you could ask me” or “No, thank you.” are the best and easiest ways to just say no.

If you feel like you are over-stressed and spread too thin, let’s get together and discuss how you can start changing the ways you say yes and no, and get you on the right path to a fulfilling life.


  • Nada Alami


    The Pragmatic Goddess

    Hey there! I’m delighted that you’re here, deeply grateful for your time and humbled to share my journey with you. The path I took to find balance in my life likely sounds a lot like yours--burnout city. For years I faced stress and overwhelm, unable to keep it all together. At the end of the day I felt confused, frustrated, unfulfilled and even physically ill. It’s all in your head, people said. But it wasn’t. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, barely able to function let alone hold a conversation. Completely worn down to the core, I became unemployed and then bedridden for nearly a year. Western medicine prescribed an expensive cocktail of psychiatric meds that hardly seemed palatable. Dozens of doctors later and my head was spinning. I checked out. The entire process felt seriously flawed and somehow I knew it wasn’t me. But there was this tiny ember of hope that burned bright within, urging me to seek an alternative solution. And I did. I was so desperate for relief that I took a flying leap of faith. That leap of faith manifested into -- The Pragmatic Goddess.