Is the advice “be a yes person” always great advice? It depends. Saying yes, when you really mean no – affects your mood, your motivation, and your own personal boundaries. Although, learning to say no to things that you typically commit to, or say yes to – will take some time. Here are some things you should start saying no to, in order to live a happier, healthier life.

“Faking it Till You Make it”

This is one of those long-running quotes that people have used, that no longer hold the same value as it once did. The problem with using this term is that people can see right through it, which results in a loss of trust. Instead, show your failures, until you make it. Be transparent, share your journey, your struggles, and your mistakes. Especially if you’re a beginner. You’ll find much more support this way. People are more inspired to root for you watching you start from the bottom, knowing how hard you’ve worked, and being part of your journey. (Cue Drake: Started from the Bottom).

Avoiding Change

Whether you avoid change, are resistant to change, or are subconsciously sabotaging change – you are doing yourself a disservice. Change is uncomfortable, it may initially slow us down at first, but in order to grow, develop and progress – change is inevitable and essential for development.  Here are some tips on how to adapt to change.

Waiting for Motivation

We look for motivation to encourage us to be proactive and take action. However, we also look for motivation to make excuses for our lack of action. “Looking” for motivation is a waste of your time. If you’re feeling “unmotivated” take the initiative to create it for yourself. Whether it be listening to some music, calling a friend, or watching a motivational video. If you’re lacking the motivation to take action – start tackling a few small things first, or just “5,4,3,2,1… do it” as Mel Robbins would say. The moral of the story is that you need to take it upon yourself to get motivated.

Giving Up When Things Get Difficult

In the book, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy gives an example of a hand-operated water pump – and explains how you have to press the lever long enough for the water to start to come out. “When most people start working on a new goal, they grab the lever and start pumping really hard, and after several pushes, they stop, because they feel exhausted. But the secret is to pump the lever slowly, but for a longer period of time in order to create the vacuum needed to suck the water into the pipe and eventually out of the spout.” Explaining that it’s difficult (like anything) in the beginning, but if you’re consistent over time it gets much easier. Next time you’re needing some inspiration to keep going- remember this story, or even pick up this book.

Making Excuses

Saying no to excuses will help you in a few ways. It will help you take responsibility, be more accountable, problem-solve (if necessary), and will force you to face challenges head-on. Making excuses, excuse your ability to take ownership. Not only is this unproductive, but no lessons are learned, and you prevent yourself from growing.

Thinking Organized Chaos Works for You

No matter what you’re made to believe, living in a chaotic cluttered environment has proven that productivity is decreased, stress is more present, and forgetfulness occurs more often. In addition, it clouds the mind and creates distractions. Thinking this environment works for you? There was a study done that states, “when there was too much stuff in sight, people had a significantly and measurably more difficult time being productive.” Yes, it will be distracting to have a clean space at first because you’re not used to it. That’s ok. Organize your space, or your desk, give yourself time to adjust, and most importantly – maintain it.

Surrounding Yourself with Toxic, Negative, or “Victimized Thinking” People

This one can take some time as you may have to adjust your circle. Being around people that are toxic, negative or live life in the “victim” mindset, will do nothing positive for you. These emotions give off bad energy, they bring down your mood, and they decrease your positivity. Easier said than done, but try migrating and focusing your time on spending it with people that are positive, encouraging, and motivated. If you work with toxic, negative or “victimized thinking” people – try to limit your engagement with them.

Talking Negatively About Others

Being around toxic people is one thing, being the toxic person is another. Which includes negatively talking about others. Venting or expressing emotions from time to time is normal. Negatively talking about others consistently, or unproductively, or without reason – is not. Whether it be in front of the person you’re talking about, or in private. No one ever leaves these types of conversations feeling good, motivated, or inspired.


Complaining is a contagious trait. If you’re around complainers it’s easy to find yourself starting to complain. What is productive about that? If you’re always looking for the negative – you will find it. If you are always looking for the positive – you will find it. Be conscious about the next time you complain – and try to think of something positive to say instead.

Thinking Your Efforts Don’t Make an Impact

How often do you think, or hear someone say, “do you really think my efforts are changing the world?” “Do you really think my use of glass instead of plastic is really making a difference?” or something along those lines? John F Kennedy stated, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” Because if everyone started to believe that their actions made a difference, then more people would take part, and as a result, changes would be made. Change is made one person at a time, and it starts with you.

Letting Your Notifications Run Your Life

Whether you use your phone for work, leisure or both – your notifications should be monitored. Having all notifications on will not help keep you up to date, aware, or alert. Doing so can actually decrease your productivity, and limit your attention span. Trust us when we say your multitasking skills are probably about half what you believe they are. So what is a better way to make use of them? Leave on only the ones that are important. Turn off notifications for social media. Turn off your notifications for email, turn off your notifications for any other platform that does not provide information that you need to know urgently. Turn on notifications for important things. If your email notifications are crucial in your career, consider obtaining a work phone. You can also utilize the “screen time” feature if you have an iPhone and prevent notifications during a certain period of the day. Either way – your notifications should be used for immediate updates that are necessary – only.

Forfeiting Sleep

When we think of efficiency, hustle, or production – we think more work, more hours, less sleep. Wrong. It’s not so much about how much time you devote – but what you’re doing with the time you have. You need rest to be productive and energized to work to your max performance. Forfeiting sleep hinders your performance. The same goes for not allowing yourself breaks or time-off. Your body needs to rest in order to come back fully recharged. Which also prevents burnout as well.

Avoiding Self-Care

Consistent exercise, eating healthy, not skipping meals, proper hygiene, getting enough water – all these factors may be due to lack of care, boredom or even underlying reasons why you may not be making these a priority. Positive and persistent self-care reflects in other avenues of your life and can overall makes you a happier person. Try it and see how things change.