Do you often say no to yourself, while often saying yes to other people and other things? You’re not alone, and you can change it.

After watching the video at the end of this article, I was reminded of a passage in one of my favorite books, “Work Less, Make More” by the late Jennifer White.

I want to share with you, in Jennifer’s words, 7 ways you can say no to other agendas, so that you can begin with yourself in mind.

Just Say No

Thanks, but I’ll have to pass on that. Say it, then shut up. You don’t want to ruin the effect.


The Gracious No

I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed. This is a gentle way to say no.


The “I’m Sorry” No

I wish I could, but it’s just not convenient. The real masters of the “I’m Sorry” No skill somehow get the other people to apologize over and over for even asking. I’m always amazed when I see this happen.


The “It’s Someone Else’s Decision” No

I promised my coach I wouldn’t take on any more projects without discussing them with her first. This postpones the decision and allows you to decide if you really want to say no. Only use when you’re not sure if you want to say yes.


The “My Family is the Reason” No

Thank you very much for the invitation. That’s the day of my son’s soccer game, and I never miss those. Great reasons also include birthdays, anniversaries, high school graduations…just be sure you’re not making it up. Tell the truth. You may think this is the easiest no to say, but it’s not. How often have you said no to your family in order to work? My point exactly.


The “I Know Someone Else” No

I just don’t have the time to help you, but let me recommend someone else I know. A great way to say no while still helping the person by giving them another option. It’s often easiest to say no when you can offer another solution.


The “I’m Already Booked” No 

I appreciate you thinking of me, but I’m afraid I’m already booked that day. Use this one especially if you’ve blocked out time for yourself. It’s horrible to break a date with someone else – even worse if you break the date with yourself.

Saying No Video