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Saying “No” Builds Higher Self-Esteem – Week 5

09 July 2015

One of the major reasons women burn out and have very little time for what inspires us is that we take on too many things. This is mainly because we do not know how to say no, perhaps because we want to please everyone. This does not work. We end up totally exhausted with so many misaligned relationships and projects—all because we cannot say NO.

Social psychologist Susan Newman, PhD, author of The Book of No sums up nicely the differences between men and women when it comes to saying NO. 

“Men are expected to assert themselves and speak their mind; that's what gives them status in our society. They learn to say no early on because if they don't, they're labeled wimps. On the other hand, women earn praise for playing nice and co-operating. As girls, we're singled out for being helpful. This manifests in adulthood as an eagerness to please and gain others' approval, typically by agreeing to assist anyone who asks. In fact, the female need to please is so ingrained that many chicks equate saying no with saying "I don't care about you."

The Value of Giving a ‘No’

To counteract our socialisation toward helping others to the detriment of ourselves, let’s look at some great reasons to say No.

Eventually this will become second nature to you, and you will begin to see that you not only have more time and energy, you are also more fulfilled.

1.                  Time: There are only 24 hours in the day and how we use it makes a difference. There are no refunds if you waste the time. If you are spending a lot of your time helping everyone else with their relationships and projects, it takes away from time you could invest in creating your own unique life.

2.                  Resentment: If you are continually doing things for others and not yourself, you will have resentment and wonder, “What about me, when is it my time?” This is a big energy waster and leaves you feeling flat and depressed.

3.                  Exhausted: This naturally continues on from time and resentment. If you are always too tired from doing things for everyone else and being resentful, how will you have the energy to create the life you desire?

4.                  Continually being asked: This is a bit of a snowball effect. When people know that you can’t say no, they will continually ask you to help, as this allows them extra time to create the life they desire!!

5.                  Not doing your friend any favours: That is right, if you are continually there to help, how are they learning and growing? Growth is what we are all required to do and it’s through doing things ourselves that we grow and learn.

As you start to say no, keep in mind that you do not need to give a reason why you can’t do something. This is the biggest trap we fall into. Giving a reason allows others to alter their request to fit in around your reason for saying NO.

Keep it simple, just say NO.

And remember that most men only give a reason for their “NO” when pushed and pushed to do so.

A good guide for any request is to ask yourself this question: “Does this request make me feel excited or further my goals?” and if the answer is no, then say NO.

It really is that simple!!

Until next week…………..


With Gratitude and Joy

Karen Chaston

For earlier posts in Karen’s Creating High Self Esteem Series please visit:

Creating High Self Esteem – Week 1

Building High Self Esteem – Week 2

Continuing on our Journey to High Self Esteem – Week 3

Fueling Yourself Towards High Self Esteem – Week 4

About the Author

Karen Chaston: “Inspiring Women to Empower All Areas of Life is a wife, mother, author, speaker, radio host, former CFO publicly listed company, BraveHeart Women Resonator.

Surprisingly, it took her son’s death for her to become more aware, grateful, healthier, energised and live in my Essence

Karen now inspires women to become their own best friend and live in their Essence.

Creating more “conscious entrepreneurs”; who allow heart and soul, as well knowledge and expertise, to guide their businesses. Karen will guide your female colleagues away from burnout, exhaustion and competition towards inspired, motivated and collaborative employees who’ll have a CEO focused mind-set. A win-win for all!!