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  • Jana Hofmann

Saying No.

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Sure, I’ll help! Yes, I’ll be there! Yep, I can do this. 👉And what’s truly on your mind: Sh*t! I did it again.


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How often did you say yes without meaning it? Work, friends, family. How often did you want to say no but you didn’t dare?


Saying no might not be an easy thing to do for many of us. Theoretically, we know that we can say no. But this is not the true challenge, is it?



Let's call it the “iceberg of saying no”. Because there are many challenges that are hiding behind saying no.


Often, people say yes because if they say no, they might feel guilty.

So: Guilt becomes the engine, the true motor, the true reason for saying yes. Guilt takes the driver’s seat, with you by its side, driving down a road that you actually did not want to go.


And there is more to the “iceberg of saying no”.


When saying no, you might ask yourself:

What image will others have of me?

Will they think that I am lazy? Or egoistic? Or someone who doesn't want to help others?

Will they think that I am not reliable? Not interested? Not invested? Not caring?


Many people are afraid of being rejected, of not being liked, being excluded, missing out on something because of saying no. Being afraid of disappointing others, causing a confrontation when saying no.

As a consequence, many “give in” and say yes because it is easier in the moment. Because it is easier to say yes to the other person instead of saying yes to yourself (and your needs, your priorities, your feelings, your energy). It is easier to not confront oneself with the experience of saying no, with the experience of standing up for one’s own needs.


But. What are you saying no to each time you say yes to others?


This is not about never saying yes to others. This is not about constantly saying no.


This is about practising and learning to stand up for yourself. This is about saying yes and meaning it. This is about choosing and prioritizing what is possible and good for you, and what's not.


Understand what it is that you need in this moment.

Understand what is most important to you right now.

Understand what your energy level looks like now - ask yourself if and how much you can give to others.


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