Being rejected, to hear no to a request, for years and years I thought it was terrible. It took a lot of training in personal development before I could really believe that a no to my question did not mean I was rejected as a person.

Today I dare to ask for a lift to a party or for help with a problem I have, I even dare to initiate sex with my Love. I can express what I want or need, because nowadays I can take no for an answer!

NO is not a total rejection of me, but a limit of the other person, in this specific situation.

The other person doesn’t want to or isn’t able to devote time / energy / money / attention / patience to help me with this at this moment, that’s all.

When I really got this, it made me freer and stronger. Besides, now I can also help others to get accustomed to rejection, a very rewarding aspect of my work as a life coach/ counselor.


Saying No is setting a boundary(124213)

How is it then, that I still find it so difficult to say NO to requests to me?  And that this applies not only to me but to almost all women around me?

Of course, as a woman, we are ‘culturally trained’ to take care of others. Much has changed in recent years, but these patterns run deep. Every mother I support, as a maternity nurse or as a counselor, is struggling with the concept ‘first take care of yourself. ‘

In theory it sounds great; everyone can see that an exhausted, hungry and irritated mother has not much to offer her child, whilst the mother who treated herself to a nice lunch and half an hour with a magazine is much more patient and loving to a demanding toddler, but this patterns of self-neglect run deep for us women.

In addition we women have a great tendency to please and avoid conflict. Father will perhaps no longer automatically receive the biggest chunk of meat on his plate, but women in general fold still very often to the wishes and expectations of others.  

For me, this habit of pleasing and bending to other peoples wishes comes with a price! I still spend too much time, energy and money to others, because I have trouble saying no.

Time that I had reserved for writing blogs, improving my website, strategic planning for my business or seeing friends often slips through my fingers, because I feel obliged to do this little job for someone else first….

Energy I would like to use to dance, do muscle training and learn Portuguese, is too often spent on other people's goals.

And I'm never going to be financially free if I keep spending my money on others.

And I do all of this, because it feels selfish and very unfriendly to say NO …



From now on, I say YES to my own dreams and goals, and take the planning for my work very seriously.  I now not only plan my coaching sessions and my daily free time in my calendar, but also time when I write a blog, do sports or am studying. That makes it a lot easier to say no to other people ... I did not wait until January 1, 2013, but have already started in late November and guess what...


feels a bit uncomfortable but oh so good!


  • I do not work overtime on auto-pilot in every family that I work as a maternity nurse anymore,
  • I do not throw my whole agenda upside down for every request for babysitting,
  • I do not travel to people, who want to discuss their problems with me,
  • I do not immediately respond to emails or phone calls anymore,
  • I do no longer edit other people’s blog posts or websites in my free time,
  • I’m busy handing over my various  tasks as Personal Assistant  in the business of my Love, I have enough challenging and inspiring work in my own business, and I don’t even like administration! (This transition takes time, I committed to be no longer his PA in December 2013, one PA-task at a time goes off my list! )

Are you good at saying NO to others?

If you're good at it, do you have an extra tip for me? I would be grateful to any tips in the commentbox below this article!

If you are like me, and have trouble saying NO, would you join me in saying no to others so you can say YES to yourself?

What do you say NO to, so you have time and energy for your own dreams and goals? Please tell me in the comments, I would like to read it!