Saying No: Top five questions to ask before you say yes or no!

Have you read the book by Shonda Rhimes The Year Yes? I did and I loved it! If you haven’t I can highly recommend it.


The book gives such a positive message about opening up to new experiences and opportunities in your life. Situations or opportunities you might have previously said no to, because of fear, the belief you’re too busy or it’s not meant for you, may prevent you from saying yes too.

The Year of Yes encouraged me to say yes and fight through some fears and self defeating beliefs and take on incredible opportunities.

So what then happens to no?

I love the answer no. Honestly, I do. A no is clear and allows me to move on to take alternative action. I don’t linger on the no I simply move on. I tell the team regularly, please remember to pause before you answer because you can say no.

I think sometimes people are afraid to say no, they don’t want to disappoint or let someone down or perhaps they think it will prevent people asking in the future. What can then happen is you can’t fully commit, you build resentment or you prevent someone else saying yes who could have been better suited to the task.

The other night I even dreamed about saying no to someone while I was out on a walk with my boys, they just had “a quick Pilates related question”. It is ok to say 'not right now', 'no' or 'drop me an e-mail with your question' or 'I answer that on my website or latest blog'.

Saying yes to someone, or really no to ourselves?

Anyway, this brings me to a great example of when we say yes to someone we are saying no to ourselves or to be more specific what is important to us.

Here are my top five questions to pause and ask yourself before you say yes or no to someone's request:

  1. Am I sacrificing something important to me?

  2. Does this help fulfill my short or long term goals?

  3. Do I have to answer right now?

  4. Could there be a better person for this task than me?

  5. Can I do it 100%?

Allow these questions to help you decide the best answer for you and take a pause then enjoy your yes or no!!

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