Learning To Say “No” (Part 2) – Developing A Discipline To Say “No”

by Patrick Liew on December 26, 2011

Learning to say “No” is a deliberate commitment and a cultivated discipline.

All my adult life, I am what you may call a ‘diary person.’ I like to record my daily activities and if need be, I will craft my reflections about these experiences.

When I evaluate my record, I realize a large chunk of my life has not been put to good use – simply because I did not say “No.” I did not say “No” to being involved in unnecessary meetings, tasks, relationships, activities, and other people’s requests and problems.

Oftentimes, I did not have the capacity and capability to fulfill my obligations properly. They have resulted in negative outcomes. In some cases, they have even backfired against me personally.

When I said “Yes” to somebody, I was saying “No” to myself. I was distracted from doing what I should do and to accomplish more worthy causes.

I was not able to discharge my rightful responsibilities and fulfill more important obligations to my family, colleagues, and other friends.

By saying “Yes,” I was tying myself up against better opportunities. I was saying “No” to the more important things in life.

I have learned that it is perfectly okay to say “No.” Most of the worries and fears of doing so are in my mind.

Friends who mind don’t matter. If they matter, they won’t mind. They understand that as a human, I have my own needs, requirements and priorities in life.

When it is justified to say “No,” I should be happy and at peace to say it. It is about being true to myself – to know what I can or cannot do.

It is about being wise to know what will bring about the best outcomes.

Learning to say “No” is a key discipline to develop in life.

Like any skill, it requires commitment and persistence to learn the skill. It must be improved through constant practice.

The only way to develop the necessary muscles for saying “No” is to do it correctly and frequently enough. I need to also learn from my failures and ensure I am on the path of continuous improvements.

As I have not been used to saying “No,” it may be harder at the beginning. However, as I become more disciplined, I will become more competent in doing it.

When I master the discipline of saying “No,” I’m free to live more productively. It opens up more possibilities to live a meaningful, exciting and fulfilling life.


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 develop a discipline to say “No?”


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