In life we often get told to grab every opportunity possible, which means saying ‘yes’ a lot of the time to a lot of things. Even the things that scare you and push you right out of your comfort zone. What we don’t often hear in life is someone telling us about the importance of saying ‘no’. And make no mistake, saying ‘no’ is just as empowering (if not more) and courageous as saying ‘yes’.

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The importance of saying ‘no’ is simple: it ensures that you aren’t being constantly walked all over and shows that you have a level of self-understanding and respect to recognise what is good and right for you. Yet there seems to be some kind of stigma around saying ‘no’ to people; it’s as though it makes you look rude and disrespectful. It can make you look like a prude, or like an ungrateful person when, in fact, you’re just doing what you know in your heart is right.

Doing what you know is right should never, ever carry any shame or regret. It doesn’t have to be negative because saying ‘no’ empowers you in that you made a choice that you stood by. And, in a world where so many people say ‘yes’ because they’re afraid of the alternative (or because they were pressured into it), those who say ‘no’ will always have an impact on the person who they’re responding to.

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Never underestimate the importance of saying ‘no’ and doing what’s right for you. You have complete and absolute autonomy over your mind, your body and your actions. Never let anyone make you think or feel otherwise, and tell them it’s a ‘no’ if they ever do.