From People Pleaser to Empowered Individual: The Transformative Journey of Saying No
For most of my life I said No was a challenge. Whether it was an informal invitation for another drink, a request for a financial favor, or a call for help from a colleague on a project, my default response was invariably: Yes. My old modus operandi was to please people. The journey to overcoming this habit Yes and embrace empowerment Noalthough sometimes arduous, has been a huge improvement in my life and finances.
Each reluctant Yes subtly eroded my self-esteem and inner peace. The fear of disappointing others has overshadowed the need to maintain my well-being, sometimes emotionally, physically or financially. I avoided difficult conversations, fearing the backlash of a simple No.
It took me years to transcend this fear and understand the value of asserting my limits. Today, one of my daily affirmations is to “fearlessly face problems in loving collaboration rather than escaping.” I no longer feel the need to flee confrontations. Instead, facing fear is now honorable, especially as I approach it with compassion. Additionally, fear is usually just a figment of my imagination, often exaggerated compared to the actual reaction. Yes, someone may be disappointed when receiving a No; However, everything will be fine. The exercise of saying Noalthough simple and quick, has been transformative, allowing me to relive and assert myself in previously difficult situations.
For example, my 9-5 job involves selling loans to other financial institutions. In the early days of my business, sleepless nights were commonplace as I struggled with the pressure to prove myself, generate outsized profits, and constantly say Yes to offers. Offers that I knew would keep me up at night. The people-pleaser in me wanted to be helpful, but it came at the cost of my emotional and physical health. Over time, I learned to affirm a No, especially with data support. For example, I declined a recent deal by pointing out that “I called 10 potential investors and they all said no.” I realize it’s okay to push back, to say No when conditions are not favourable.