The Power of No

When most people think of the word “no”, they immediately associate it with something negative. According to, it’s likely that we are unaware of the surge of strength we draw from No because, in part, it is easily confused with negativity. Either can involve a turning away, a shake of the head, or a firm refusal. But they are distinctly different psychological states.

But what if the word “no” can be a way to take back your power? What if the word “no” was a way to hold you or someone else accountable? Believe it or not, “no” is one of the shortest words in the English dictionary but we don’t use it enough. The word “no” represents finality, and it holds more power than you think.

It’s important to know your
boundaries and know when to say “no.”

The word “no” can be used in many positive ways. On a daily basis, how many times does someone ask you for a favor? Whether it’s your boss, your best friend or a family member? You’d be amazed at how you can overbook yourself so quickly. As people, we tend to put others before ourselves. It’s nice to be helpful but at what cost? When you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed it’s ok to say “no.” For me personally, being in a school organization requires a lot of teamwork. And for my school in particular, there’s only a few of us so taking on many roles and task at once is a part of our daily routine. Whether it’s events, community service or meetings I always have a lot on my plate. When it started to take a toll on my mental health I had to start saying “no” to certain things. And luckily for me I have amazing members to pick up where I leave off. But some people don’t have that. It’s important to know your boundaries and know when to say “no.”

The word “no” can also be influential in changing the course of your life. People are creatures of habit. Whether it’s good or bad, people stay in certain situations because they’re comfortable. Whether it’s a job that’s paying well that you hate or staying with an abusive boyfriend or girlfriend that you love, comfortability sometimes overpowers logic. In these cases, the word “no” can be your escape. That word can be the difference between happiness or sadness or even in extreme cases, life or death. “No” is the power necessary to start a new healthy life for yourself.

And the most important, taking accountability. Sometimes the only one standing in your way is yourself. Whether you’re out partying every night, on drugs or just procrastinating, you are hindering your life. Sometimes it’s harder to acknowledge when you’re the problem. Acknowledging that you have a problem or that you are the problem is the first step to accountability. Then, you can say “no” to bad habits.

The word “no” is powerful, the next time you feel overbooked or like your life is spiraling out of control, say “no.” It could be the difference between you living your best life or ruining it.

Written by: Janay Brown

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