Why You Should Only Say 'Yes!' When You Really Mean it


Words by Jo Hodson

I often find myself saying 'yes' to things, when really the little voice in my gut tells me 'No'. 

I say 'yes' is because I don't want to disappoint people but not only that (and maybe more importantly)... it's because I don't think I have enough of reason to say 'no'.

It's as if I have to justify my 'no' and if I feel an adequate justification isn't there, then I just say yes by default.

It means there's a hell of a lot of half hearted 'yes's'... 

Just thinking back to all those things in my life that have been a 5-out-of-10 for me. Things that I’ve just gone along with because, well…why not?

But we don't have to justify our no's. 

It doesn't have to be ‘no enough' for us to smile and kindly decline.

This might not sound significant but it is and this is why 

I often talk about 'creating space for creativity', and not just creativity but the idea of creating the space in our lives for the things which are most meaningful to us.  If we fill our lives with so many 5-out-of-10 things, there is no space left for the 10-out-of-10’s. Those things that really light us up, those things that set our lives and our mission and purpose in this world on fire.

There is no space for the magic if we keep saying 'yes' half-heartedly. 

If we say 'yes' when we don't really mean it deep down, we miss out on the opportunities to say 'yes' when we really, really, really do want it. If we drop back into the people pleasing space, not wanting to disappoint or let another down when it's evident they are keen, we are not honouring ourselves first.

Our gut reaction may be screaming at us 'this isn't really my thing', 'I'm not really feeling the connection', 'It's not really doing it for me'

...but we overlook it, and push it down, dismiss the importance, dismiss our significance.

 We see the enthusiasm on the other party's face. We hear it in their voice. And so we override that niggling feeling that we should be saying no, and because we don't have 'a god enough reason otherwise' instead just say 'yes'.

There is always a heavy feeling somewhere inside. That’s the mark of a 5-out-of-10 decision.

We fill our lives up with these half-hearted yes's and it's a tragedy. It's a tragedy because we do not then have the space for the for the magical projects, the people and the things that really, really do matter to us. The things that the world needs us to bring to life. We dissipate our energy in so many directions and not only do we feel depleted and burnt out but we miss out on serving those people and those projects that have most meaning for us and that we could best serve. 

I had a personal experience recently when I guy I’d met for a couple of dates clearly wanted to see me again and yet I had this growing sense that I just wasn't feeling it, there wasn't the spark there for me.  But I kept smiling and glossing over it, I kept telling myself, “well, maybe the spark will grow” and so I kept overriding that little niggling feeling because I could see his enthusiasm and `I didn’t want to disappoint. Because there didn't seem a good enough reason not to say ‘yes’.

But there doesn't have to be a 'good enough' reason, a justification that the other person will understand, in order to say 'no'.

Yes, there is risk.

No, others may not understand.

Yes, they may feel hurt.

Yes, we might disappoint them...

But these are not reasons to avoid saying 'no'.

As soon as I made the decision, as soon as I had that difficult yet kind conversation, as soon as we decided not to see each other again... space opened up, more ideas flooded in, more opportunities showed up right on cue. Suddenly the whole of my weekend was free and available, with magical abundant possibility because it wasn't being filled with another 5-out-of-10.

So I put this question to you…

Where in your life are you saying yes when you don’t really want to. Where in your life are your harbouring the 5-out-of-10’s?  

Get really honest with yourself.

Because it's not only yourself you're dismissing, letting down, burning out and spreading too thinly, but it’s the other people and the projects that would really, really would light you up, those 10-out-of-10 things that align with your soul. Those things that make you smile wide and make your body tingle with excitement.

These are the things you're missing out on by saying 'yes' half heartedly, too often.

You do not need to justify a 'no', but you do need to honour your soul in acknowledging your needs and your desires. 

There is not space to please everyone and everything. You owe it to yourself to share your gifts with the world.

Chase your 10-out-of-10’s and choose your yes’s preciously and wisely.


Jo is the health and mindset coach who works with wellness entrepreneurs to show up with heart-centered authenticity. Her BeVisible.me coaching-led design packages are an opportunity to deeply connect and commit to launching a business on your own terms. She is also running a unique co-working retreat for wellness entrepreneurs to dig deep into their message in July and August in Spain. Full details here: https://www.includingcake.com/wellness-entrepreneur-retreat

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Jo Hodson

Jo is the health and mindset coach who works with the ‘square pegs’ trying to force themselves into ‘round holes’. Her passion was born from a personal journey of plant-based nutrition being the gateway to stepping away from convention and conformity into a deeper connection with her true sense of self. When she’s not whipping up incredible dishes in the kitchen, you can find her sharing her recipes and words of wisdom over at www.includingcake.com and on Instagram , twitter and facebook