Learning To Say “No” (Part 1) – Developing A Framework To Say “No”

by Patrick Liew on December 25, 2011

A framework is like a map that guides me through a decision-making process. It is a structure that gives meaning and coherence to the process.

In learning to say “No,” I have developed an 8-Step Framework.

Step 1: Developing A Discipline To Say “No”  

Learning to say “No” starts with a deliberate commitment and is driven by a cultivated discipline.

It is both a commitment and discipline to say “No” to the non-essentials in life. It is a determination not to bow to other people’s wishes and fulfill their requests at the detriment of my life and that of my loved ones.

It is a focused dedication to free myself so as to improve and capitalize on more opportunities. It is a deep desire to achieve more worthwhile outcomes.

Step 2: Removing The Roadblocks 

To live out the commitment and discipline, I need to know what’s holding me back from saying “No.” I need to determine what they are and how they have affected my life.

By doing so, I’m in a better position to respond to these roadblocks that stop me from saying “No.” I am better prepared to eliminate them – wholeheartedly and confidently.

Step 3: Being Mindful Of The Negatives

I need to remember past consequences of not saying “No.”

When I did not say “No,” it has resulted in many negative outcomes, including unnecessary stress and anguish. They have not only affected me but also my loved ones and my business.

When I am mindful about past failures and more importantly, learn from it, I can make wiser decisions.

Step 4: Focusing On The Positives 

On the other hand, when I said “No” in the past, I have enjoyed many benefits and advantages. By anchoring the resulting positive emotions, I am more motivated to say “No” to invalid requests.

When I say “No” to such requests, I will travel lighter on the journey of life. I will be able to go further and faster to achieve more worthy goals and dreams.

Step 5: Justifying The Decision 

It is important to know when to say “No” and be able to justify the decision. By having a list of criteria, it will help me to cover the ground and count the cost.

I will also be better prepared to handle any potential repercussions. I can fulfill the new commitments while at the same time, stay on track to achieve my worthwhile goals and dreams.

Step 6: Preempting & Preventing Invalid Requests

The best way to say “No” is to nip the request at its bud.

I can pre-empt and prevent it from being raised or even resolve it at the beginning.

When I am more proactive, it will help me evaluate how the requests fit into the bigger scheme of things in my life. I will not be caught in the heat of a moment and potentially make a rash decision.   I will be able to take the right action rightly.

Step 7: Developing Guidelines For Saying “No”   

By developing guidelines for saying “No,” it will help me arrive at a wise decision.

It will be easier for me to refuse a new commitment and be able to it in an effective and efficient way.

Step 8: Taking The Right Approach 

Very often, it is not the fact that I say “No” but the way I say it that antagonized the other party and caused other problems.

Therefore, it is important for me to have a comprehensive arsenal of strategies to handle different situations and help me say “No” in the most appropriate way.

With a framework, I am in a better position to say “No.”

I can improve on it so that it will guide me to make a wise decision and to do so in a meaningful and fruitful way.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

Visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Think: How can I apply the above-mentioned framework in saying “No?”


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