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How Saying ‘No’ To Others Means Saying ‘Yes’ To Yourself

Published on Jun 4, 2020

Woman smiling as she has said no to others and said yes to herself 
How do you feel about the current situation and the relaxed regulations? Do you feel happy to do the things you have been longing to do, or do you feel overwhelmed and anxious?

I will tell you why I choose to be uncool and transition slowly into the “new normal.” And I will share some tips on how taking it slow will benefit you too.

Maybe this analogy will resonate with some of you.

I feel like I have been on a very long adventure with my family on a desert island, and we had to find a way to survive. We were rescued last week and now our friends and family are excited to meet up and hear about our experience.

I feel like a big mama bear right now that wants to protect herself and her family from becoming overwhelmed by too much stimulation.

I know myself — how easily I fall into becoming very busy after a holiday, for example. I have lots of energy and want to meet all my friends and take part in all the exciting events.

But I want this transition into the “new normal” to be very slow.

How about you?

I would like to share some tips with you on how the word “NO” can support you in preventing you from becoming overwhelmed as you slowly open up to the world outside.

“No” — so short and easy but oh so difficult to say sometimes!

Of course it’s important to say YES to what really matters to you, but first, we need to say NO to make time for what we want to say yes to.

If we constantly say yes to work, children, husbands/boyfriends and friends, then we don’t have much time left over to say yes to ourselves.

What do you need to say NO to so that you can say YES to yourself?

Here are some tips on how saying NO can help you slowly transition into the “new normal” and say YES to yourself:

  1. Do it at your own pace. We’re all different, and it’s important to trust that you and nobody else knows how slowly or quickly you will be ready to open up and meet other people again.
  1. Choose to be uncool. If you feel pressure from outside to act cool and brave, remember that some people act heroic out of fear, not wanting to continue the challenging inner journey they have been on recently. Choose self-acknowledgement before cool.
  1. Process. After any challenging event in our lives, we need time to process what we have been through. We need to celebrate, grieve, let go or forgive, depending on the situation.
  1. Listen to your needs. Take your needs seriously. Listen. Observe. What exactly is it that you need right now? This is not the time to please others. This is the time to care for yourself and choose YOU.

I’m taking it slowly. This is my “new normal”.  I’m not one of the cool ones. I decided to process, embrace, and heal from this past challenge by celebrating with my family.

Right now, we are on a mini holiday outside Berlin. We are treating ourselves by being cooked for, riding horses and spending time in nature.

I’m also working on forgiving myself for not being as patient as a mother as I would have liked to have been these last weeks.

I care for myself by saying NO to additional work engagements and clients who I’m not the best match for. This gives me the possibility to fully focus on the clients I have and give myself time in between to process, rest and celebrate.

If you want to learn how to say YES to yourself, book a free coaching consultation here: 



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Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping international professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to the 'Time To Thrive' blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

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