Sometimes it seems we have an un-natural fear of the word “no”. This might be rooted in childhood memory: when I tell my son “no”, I am preventing him from doing something that he wants to do. As a responsible adult, I know the limits I place upon him are for his own protection. As a toddler, he sees “no” as a limiter, something that ends a course of inquiry.

I think we have a hard time letting go of our memories. So when a friend, a boss, a client asks us for an unreasonable favour, we are inclined to bend over backwards to deliver. Maybe we’re afraid that if we say no, our value will somehow be dimished.

I see “no” as an invitation. Now we know where the limit is, so we can work to get to a comfortable “yes”.

I can’t help feeling that I once read an article with a similar message to this; if anyone knows what that is, do send me a link!