The Art of Saying No

A book review

Photo by Daniel Herron on Unsplash

I recently had the pleasure of reading The Art of Saying NO: How to Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time and Energy, and Refuse to be Taken for Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!) by Damon Zahariades. This was a book I was definitely looking forward to given my propensity to say ‘yes’, especially at work. If you are like me and feel guilty, whether at work or at home, this book is one you need to pick up.

Right off the bat, a quote from Gandhi puts it all into perspective.

A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble — Mahatma Gandhi

So many of us just feel wrong about saying no. Worry or guilt plagues us that we have let an opportunity go by or let someone down — regardless of others we may also be letting down when we say ‘yes’ instead of saying ‘no’.

Zahariades uses the example of being on a plane when the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling. What are we told to do first? Put your own mask on and then seek to help the person beside you. Yet, for so many of us, we continually help those around us until we are at the point of falling down, disoriented, lacking oxygen and energy for any of our own pursuits or those of our closest loved ones.



Jason H. Smith, MD, MBA, CPE, FAAFP, FAWM

Experienced leader with over 15 years in the healthcare industry. Coaching and consulting all over the world on leadership, healthcare, and personal growth.