Learning to say 'no'....

As someone I would call one of my role models in life once said to me, “Lauren, you need to learn it is ok to say no”.

Now I am in no way suggesting that you should miss out on amazing life experiences, instead I’m putting pen to paper or rather fingers to keyboard on a probably slightly rambly brain splat about personal development…cause I totally have the time and I can’t sleep anymore so why not!

As someone who’s recently found herself become more and more involved in the things going on around her, when I say recently its probably been happening for quite a few years, I am constantly finding myself worrying when I will actually have the time to sit down and breathe. I mean I totally love all the stuff I do, from politics to rowing and sometimes even attending the odd lecture or two but occasionally I do miss spending the day in bed watching Netflix eating chicken nuggets not worrying about how I am going to fit 3 activities into 1 hour slot the next day.


So, as I obviously had the time to think about this I decided to research a bit more, and decided I have a chronic case of people pleasing.

Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Email / Text / IM: "URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP on this totally unrelated task!" Well, business coaching isn't my current specialty but it sounds like they could really use some advice. Why not?
  • Useless Meetings / Appointments:  "This face-to-face meeting has no objective but it's obviously the one meeting to rule them all." It's only going to take an hour. It's networking. Maybe we'll leave with action items and they'll come to us when they have a budget?
  • Excuses : "I got in a car accident. My office had an impromptu fire drill. I have to pass a kidney stone. My pet goldfish Nemo desperately needs a walk." Hmmm… There must be some real sh*t going on in this person's life, let's give them another 24—48hrs to deliver. 
  • Events :"Don't miss this extraordinary, once in a life-time, all day conference. This networking opportunity only happens every blue moon." Ya know, maybe there will be some business we can drum up?

You get the gist…

So as I am getting busier and busier and sleeping less and less, I wanted to remind myself that as a rather amazing teacher once said, ‘you can say no’. Learn to be a you pleaser rather than an everyone else pleaser.  Take that extra hour in bed and rearrange that meeting to a time that you’re less busy. Put you first.


Do not fear "the no." It may seem like a powerfully intimidating two letter word. But for such a tiny word, "no" is profoundly liberating.  So I’m going to give it a try, why don’t you join me?