The Power of Saying ‘No’

Hey Coach, how comfortable are you at saying no?

In a world that glorifies hustle culture, it’s easy to find ourselves overwhelmed, overworked, and overcommitted. The culprit often isn’t a lack of time or resources but rather a lack of boundaries. 

As an aspiring or new coach, you’ve got dreams that you’re chasing and milestones you want to achieve. You’ve probably realised you were born to serve others in the capacity odf a coach, yet, you find yourself still constantly at the mercy of external demands, people-pleasing and taking on other people’s drama and stress and it’s stopping you from stepping confidently into your calling. 

How did life get to this point?! 

I get it. It feels impossible to follow your own dreams because when you’re not working your full-time job, you’re doing extra ‘unpaid’ hours or running chores for everyone and their aunty! 

It feels neverending and every day your passion and purpose feels hard to attain.



“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”_ – Brené Brown


Coaches need coaching too!

As coaches, we come into this profession because of our lived experiences. We’ve often been through challenging situations, some even traumatic or painful. It leaves a mark on us, and we need to identify and work through these effects so we can show up powerfully for our clients.

That said, it’s not unusual for us to find it difficult to utter that simple yet powerful word: No. 

Whether it’s fear of disapproval, a desire to please, or cultural conditioning, we all have our reasons. But have you ever stopped to consider what this inability is costing you? How it’s affecting your personal growth, your relationships, not to mention your ability to become who you were born to be, and do what you were called to do?

Learning to assert yourself and saying ‘No’ is understanding why it’s so challenging for you is part of your self-awareness journey. As coaches, this is a journey we need to be on, constantly.


Most people who recognise they struggle with saying ‘no’, rarely stop to think why, which makes it hard to change the habitual behaviour. 

So, let’s take a moment to explore 11 common obstacles that stop us from setting clear boundaries:

  1. Fear of Disapproval: Many of us worry that saying ‘No’ could lead to rejection or disapproval. But remember, your worth isn’t determined by others’ opinions of you. 
  2. Desire to Please: It’s natural to want to make others happy, but not at the expense of your wellbeing. Prioritise your needs, and remember, it’s okay not to be a people-pleaser.
  3. Cultural Conditioning: Many cultures, families, and institutions instil the belief that saying ‘No’ is rude or unacceptable. It’s essential to recognise this conditioning and challenge it.
  4. Fear of Conflict: The fear of causing conflict can deter us from asserting our boundaries. But it’s important to remember that ‘No’ is not an invitation for argument; it merely expresses your preferences.
  5. Guilt and Obligation: You may feel obliged to say ‘Yes’ out of guilt or perceived duty. But, authentic relationships and responsibilities allow room for your needs as well.
  6. Low Self-Esteem: If you feel unworthy, you may struggle to prioritise your needs. Self-love and esteem are crucial for establishing healthy boundaries. Worthiness is not earned; it is your birthright.
  7. Fear of Being Seen as Rude: Saying ‘No’ doesn’t make you rude. It’s possible to refuse a request respectfully and assertively. You probably have before, and you probably will again. 
  8. Fear of Abandonment: The fear that saying ‘No’ will lead to loneliness or abandonment can be paralysing. It’s essential to build relationships based on respect and mutual understanding.
  9. Need for External Validation: If you seek approval or validation from others, saying ‘No’ may seem daunting. However, there is nothing as powerful as being able to validate yourself and know that your words, your thoughts and your actions are valid whether or not someone else sees or validates them. Self-validation is very rewarding and empowering.
  10. Overestimating Responsibility: The feeling that you are responsible for meeting people’s needs and are responsible for managing their emotions or making them happy. However, every individual, whether they like it or not, is 100% responsible for their own happiness.
  11. Fear of Being Seen as Selfish: Prioritising your needs is not selfish; it’s self-care. It’s crucial to fill your cup first and keep topping it up until you start to see some overflow, then give from that. Give from a place of abundance, not from lack. 

All of the above are real and valid fears and challenges we have, but the thing with fear and challenge is they can be overcome. Our experiences of life, such as the trauma we may face and the cultural and social conditioning we are exposed to, often fuel our fears.

But even with these circumstances, our past doesn’t define our future, and it certainly doesn’t define who we are.

I want to share with you some practical strategies and mindset shifts that will help you to navigate these fears and help you to build the courage you need to start saying ‘no’ and step closer to achieving your personal goals. 

Let’s get into it:

  • Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and emotions via journaling can be a transformational and reflective process. To get you started, use prompts such as, “When did I last say ‘yes’ when I wanted to say ‘no’? How did it make me feel?”
  • Practice Self-Compassion: Practice self-love and kindness. Regularly remind yourself that it’s okay to prioritise your needs. When I say, practice…I mean, make it a daily practice by including self-compassion into your morning routine mantra… don’t have one? create it today.
  • Assertive Communication: Learn to express your needs and desires confidently and respectfully. When you use “I” statements, it conveys your feelings without blaming or criticising. When you learn to communicate your needs effectively without feeling guilt, it will help you feel and sound confident. Try using phrases like “I appreciate your request, but I won’t be able to commit to it now.”
  •  Use a Gentle ‘No’: If saying ‘No’ outright feels too harsh, try a softer approach like, “I’ll have to check my schedule,” or “Can I think about it?”. Or do it like my sister.. she smiles and just says, ‘no,’ or ‘no, thanks’, then changes the subject lol. 
  • Reframe Your Thinking: Challenge your beliefs about saying ‘No’. Understand that setting boundaries is healthy and necessary, not only for your wellbeing, but also for you to fulfil your purpose and calling.
  • Boundary-Setting Exercises: Identify areas of your life where you need to establish better boundaries. Write these down and brainstorm ways to assert these boundaries confidently.
  • Seek Support: If the process feels overwhelming, consider seeking support from a trusted friend, mentor, professional coach or counsellor.


As you know coach, transformations are rarely instantaneous; they result from consistent choices and actions over time. The journey of boundary setting is no different. 

Setting boundaries may feel uncomfortable at first; you might fear how others will react or worry about seeming selfish. 

But each time you choose to stand up for your needs, you are rewriting an old narrative, creating a new chapter where you become the hero of your own story, helping those you are called to serve to become the hero of their story too.

When you have boundaries in place, you give yourself permission to fulfil your calling. 


In my own journey, setting and enforcing boundaries proved to be vital for me to get to the position where I could leave a demanding corporate job and step into the world of entrepreneurship. 

It opened doors to a life that now includes more time freedom, financial flexibility, and the ability to travel and live a location-independent lifestyle. 

What once felt like an unreachable dream, became a reality once I began to choose myself and set healthy boundaries so I could operate in my purpose.


“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffet


There is nothing more special about me that allowed me to make these changes in my life; it’s possible for everyone, which means you CAN do it too. 

You have the potential to cultivate and enjoy a life of joy, peace, flexibility and freedom. 

You have the right to protect your time, your energy, and your personal space. 

You have the power to say ‘no.’ It’s not a privilege; it’s your right.


It may feel scary, but what I know for sure is if you want people to respect your boundaries, then the first thing you need to do is respect them first. 

If you want people to value your time, then you need to value it first. 

And yes, some people won’t love it, but it’s important to remember this essential truth: you are not responsible for how other people respond or react to your boundaries. 

The only feelings you can control are your own. But don’t worry, the more you practise saying ‘No’, the easier it gets, and the more empowered you feel, trust me…I’m a life coach!


If you’re nodding along, recognizing these challenges in your own life, it’s clear you’re not alone.

Many coaches struggle with boundary-setting, especially in the early stages of their careers while trying to juggle full-time jobs, families and create this legacy calling.

But you don’t have to do it all alone. I would love for you to join me inside of The Purpose-Driven Coach Collective where you not only get to be part of a community of supportive and likeminded coaches in the same position as you, but also you can take advantage of The Academy, the learning platform where you get to be mentored by me to help you grow your coaching business and support you, and you can watch all of the past mentoring sessions in your own private platform – off social media.

Join us, and transform the way you manage your time, honor your energy, and pursue your coaching dreams with confidence. Our mission is to create a business and brand that unlocks purpose, passion and profit.




**If you would like to see the 90-minute training in video format with a few extra strategies, click PLAY below**

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