Are you ready to consider or take some steps to reclaim your life? If YES, then you may need to reconsider NO.

It seems like many of us still don’t have the proper understanding of the word NO. Some of us fear hearing it when making a request and let that fear regularly stop us in our tracks rather than asking for what we want. Others are afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings, so rather than answering someone directly or honestly we ignore them OR give them an answer we feel is kinder to them.

Why is this?!

Lots of reasons depending on your background. I won’t attempt to list all the possible reasons why in this post.

But I did want to reflect for myself why I’ve had difficulties with this in the past so I could *really* figure out how I might be stuck. And find some efficient reminders for myself to move past them. Engineers like efficiency.


1. If I’ve legitimately made a request or asked something of someone, I’d much rather hear NO than hearing nothing. Or a YES that the person did not really mean. (Have you ever had someone agree to go out with you on a date and then realize in person they had no desire to be with you? Who wins there?!)

2. If someone responds NO to me about something, it’s a reflection of the request, not the inherent worth of me or the person responding.


1. If I’m living The Golden Rule, see reasons #1 & #2 from the previous section to remind myself why I should choose to say NO if I feel NO. It can still be done respectfully.


If you make a request of someone and hear NO, here are a couple of ways to start to reframe how you choose to think about it:

– It’s a NO to the request but your life, your pursuits and your ability to choose happiness are Not Over

– It’s a NO to the request and you should tell yourself “Next! Onward …”. Next dating prospect, next job application, next possibility, next “whatever”.


If you watch children playing the “Hot-Cold” Game, do you see them give up the overall game or start weeping upon the first utterance of “You’re getting colder”?! Of course, not. They are still focused on the target for the game. They have received data for their most recent path or attempt and now know something more to help them get closer to their goal.

As adults, the vast majority of the NO’s we hear should be thought of in the same way. We should respect the word NO but not give it bigger importance or power than it really has for the situation. So, is today the day you take a next step to reclaim your life? And embrace The Power of NO?

by Sean O’Meara by Sean O'Meara