Success Is Characterized by Saying No More Often Than by Saying Yes

Rejoice Denhere

If you enjoy helping others, then learning to say no can be hard. But learning to say no is what allows you to go after what you really want rather than simply accepting what is on offer.

You probably find it hard to say no to yourself too sometimes. Cravings or the need to reward yourself overrides all logic. Blame it on your impulsive nature.

The monkey brain is a part of the human brain that controls our impulsive behavior. According to, the human brain consists of the outer layer, surrounding the monkey brain. This area allows for logical, emotionless thought, as well as delayed gratification. It is by using our “human brain” that we are able to think through our responses, rather than just reacting.

However, when faced with threats to our system, we don't have time to pause and analyze what is going on. At these times, we rely on our "lizard" and "monkey" brains to guide us to safety through our fight or flight response.

If you imagine this part of yourself as a toddler, and practice saying no to it, you are more likely to improve your self-control. The person who is able to control themselves and say no is more likely to be successful when saying no to other people's demands.

After you've mastered self-control, you can further improve your ability to say no by doing the following: things

Perfect the Art of Saying No Through Practice

The art of saying no comes through practice. Ask anyone who cares for, or parents, a toddler, and they'll confirm this.

Say No In a Respectful Manner

The hard part of saying no is doing so in a way that is respectful so that:

  • You don’t offend or hurt the feelings of the person asking.
  • You don’t permanently close the door to future opportunities. It is important to leave the other person with the impression that their offer was good and you would have accepted it had it not been for other factors.

Here are some phrases you can use:

  • Unfortunately now is not a good time.
  • I already have something else booked.
  • I am not available or I am fully booked.
Every time I say “yes” when I actually want to say “no,” a little piece of me dies. “Yes” is what drags you out the house on a Friday night when you want to stay in. “Yes” is what sneaks you into a room full of the wrong people. “Yes” is what makes your gut twist in the morning when you drive to a toxic job. - Niklas Göke

Don’t let your allow yourself to die a slow death by saying yes to things you know you’d rather not do. When you set clear boundaries, which you enforce consistently, people will respect you.

Focus On Your Goals - It Will Allow You to Say No to or Stop Things That Aren’t Important to You

If you lack belief in your dreams, you are easily distracted. When you believe in your dreams, you focus 100%. No matter how appealing an offer is, you will turn it down so that you can pursue your dream. That is why successful people achieve success.

Know Your Value

If you don’t know your value, you blindly say “yes.” When your value is known, your “nos” will happen faster. —
Tim Denning

When you know your value, you will say no to anything that does not align with your principles or current goals.

Final Thoughts

The more you say no, the less stress you will experience when demands are made on your time.

  • Make no your default answer.
  • Focus on taking action towards your current goals.
  • Know your value.

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