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Sometimes Saying “No” Is The Ultimate Path to Self-Improvement

It has a lot to do with creating healthy boundaries — you’ll definitely need it toward self-improvement.

Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

My usual article subjects have to do a lot with entrepreneurship, management, and owning a business. I’ve shared many thoughts and ideas regarding those topics but there is yet another I’d like to focus my attention on — self-improvement.

The truth is that being successful in your professional endeavors has a lot to do with your personal growth and development. As we enter the world of entrepreneurship, we do not only improve our business skills but our personal ones as well. That’s why I decided today is a good time to discuss a self-improvement topic that is as important as time management, having the proper mindset, etc.

Let’s discuss the art of saying “No” and why it’s so important for anyone who wishes to keep moving forward.

What comes to your mind the moment you hear “personal development”?

In a nutshell, personal development is the act of growth when it comes to our personal characteristics, abilities, skills, and mindset. In addition, it helps us sum up the idea that we are a different person every other day simply because we’ve managed to learn so many things and build up experiences.

Think about your childhood or your adolescence years — I bet back then, each and every one of you had certain dreams, goals, and thoughts about the world surrounding them. With age and various life happenings, we tend to change those perspectives due to experience and growing up. Perhaps the job you are doing today differs greatly from what you had in mind for your professional development years ago. But that’s just the beauty of life — as we grow old, we grow smarter and have more experiences as adults.

Frequently many entrepreneurs share that self-improvement is a vital process of establishing a business and they are right. One cannot simply expect to be able to run a successful company without having proper people and soft skills, for example. The same goes with education and surrounding yourself with the proper networking. The latter helps you build a positive goal-oriented mindset that surely pushes you further in your both professional and personal endeavors.

But there is also another aspect of improving yourself and it has to do with building healthy boundaries.

A personal boundary has to do with how we let others treat us in terms of our time, our preferences, our thoughts, and our opinions. When a person lacks healthy boundaries, it’s quite possible for them to become a people pleaser who always puts themselves last. As humane and friendly as it may sound, with time this habit can greatly damage your self-esteem and ability to firmly stand your ground.

Having healthy boundaries simply assures your mental and physical well-being.

Imagine if you say “Yes” to every other idea, opinion, or suggestion, especially if it doesn’t correlate with how you feel about the subject in question. With time you’ll become more tired, easily irritated, and dependent on others. None of this ensures your personal self-growth and with time it’s quite likely to experience burnout and turn into a bitter version of yourself who’s always annoyed by your surroundings.

This downfall will likely affect not only your day-to-day but your long-term goals as well. That’s why I personally find a very strong connection between self-improvement, having healthy boundaries, and succeeding in a certain professional field. In order for someone to be successful, they will certainly need healthy self-esteem and elevated personal growth.

Do you know that the biggest obstacle to building healthy boundaries is our inability to say “No”?

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

If you are not used to saying “No” from time to time, I know how crippling and unbelievable this may sound to you. The thing with people-pleasing is that, with time, it turns into a habit — the more your goal is to please everyone around you, the further you go from your own needs and desires.

Also, once you’ve established yourself as a pleaser, it’s even more difficult to cut ties with this image since people would expect you to agree with them all the time.

I strongly believe that learning to say “No” is the ultimate path to self-improvement. Why? Well, simply because it means you care enough for your well-being to not be available all the time for others. And if you care enough for your well-being, then your mental health will flourish. Once this happens, you’d be much more prone to coming up with plans, ideas, and dreams. Those are what ultimately lead us to even more exciting experiences that can further shape our life.

Saying “Yes” when you desperately want to say “No” slowly pushes you to the edge. The general feeling is as if you’ve let someone else be in charge of your life all the time totally disregarding your desires and preferences. With time, you grow into a bitter person with low self-esteem who is exhausted all the time. Do you really think that’s the proper way for you to succeed?

Here are some benefits of learning to say “No”:

  • you put yourself first — if a friend asks you out when all you want to do is stay in and read a book, just thank them for the offer and politely decline it. Seriously, life’s too short being in places you’d rather not be with people you’d rather not be with. Instead, do whatever will help you feel good so you can recharge and reboot.
  • you show others that you value yourself — the thing with people pleasers is that everyone knows them for being people pleasers. If you’re always up for anything and ready to disregard your needs, it’s possible for people to see that and fail to value yourself as much as you deserve. But how can you blame them? It’s like you don’t value yourself either.
  • saying “No” helps you stand your ground and establish yourself as a self-confident individual — in reality, people admire the ones who are strong enough to stand their ground. It shouldn’t bother you whether you’d disappoint someone by saying “No”. Remember that your real friends would never judge you for expressing your true feelings and desires. Which gets us to the next benefit.
  • saying “No” can easily show you the manipulative people around you — if you are a people pleaser, then this means you’re likely quite sought after among your peers, simply because you are always available. If you start to say “No” and witness a negative reaction, then perhaps you’d like to ask yourself whether those people are your actual friends.

To wrap things up

Saying “No” when you feel like it is self-care. Don’t be fooled by anyone who tries to tell you that saying “No” is egotistical. When you are in charge of your general well-being and mental health, you build healthy self-esteem and self-confidence. Those are very important traits for anyone who wishes to succeed in life. I strongly suggest you start paying attention to when you agree to things you wish to decline. Start changing that behavior today and you’ll soon witness the beneficial outcome.

Hi, guys, I’m Ivan, and I’m here to share with all of you my passion for words, great content, entrepreneurship, personal development, management, hobbies, and everything in between.

I serve as the CEO of my WordPress Development Agency @ Vipe Studio, where I have the pleasure to lead a diverse, wonderful and energetic team of experts. Feel free to contact me anytime — I would love to exchange new ideas and inspire each other!



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Ivan Popov

Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of vipe studio. still running marathons though.