Why saying NO can be more powerful than YES!

Adam Stansbury
5 min readNov 14, 2023


I’m all for saying yes to life and all the wonderful experiences, opportunities, people, and adventures it brings but continually saying yes to life can get out of control, especially as we are beings with finite reserves of energy that need to be replenished at some point, this is where no comes in handy.

Where YES expands and sees no limitations, NO helps us to contract and to set our boundaries, it brings us back to ourselves and gives us space, to think, to be and to breathe again.

Like so many other weird societal beliefs around rights and wrongs, goods and bads, there is this weird stigma around yes and no.

Yes, is seen as positive and powerful and No is seen as negative and weak.

I would encourage you to flip them around and see them from the reversed perspective.

If YES is used too frequently especially with underlying guilt and shame attached, then what we are saying yes to is entered into with a draining energy. The ‘should’ arises in us, I should be this, I should show up like that, I should be doing this, more of this, if I don’t say yes then I will be judged.

If this is the case then the act of saying YES is a display of weakness, a lack of boundaries, a lack of self-respect and a limited understanding of who you are, and what you need that is irrelevant to what the external world is thinking or not about you.

In this case saying NO is the powerful choice, it is you staking your claim as to who you are and who you want to be, you know who you are, what you need and you understand that this choice or situation is not going to bring the best out of you and in turn give the best of you to others.

“You can only know who you are, by knowing who you are not.”

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

Of course, saying NO too frequently can become habitual and restrictive, with too many boundaries, you risk shutting the world out and may miss experiences, relationships and opportunities that could be amazing for you and your growth.

So, what’s the answer?

There is no definitive answer apart from the one you choose, for yourself in the moment but when making the decision to say YES or NO, let go of any judgement relating to either word or the emotional attachments surrounding the outcome of saying one or the other.

This is a constant dance that we must all be part of as humans but just like a dance that flows gracefully, I invite you to flow gracefully between your yes and no, without judgement or resistance to either.

When I must make a difficult decision, I try to sit quietly, place both my hands on my heart, take 5–10 deep circular breaths through my nose and out of my mouth, to help remove me from the chatter and stories in my head. I drop into my heart and ask my heart a yes or no question, I go with the first answer that comes up, that’s the one closest to the surface, the strongest answer and the one I know deep down that I need to say.

Another way of doing it is to ask yourself. Is this a full body YES? And if it isn’t, if there’s any doubt then it’s full body NO and go with that.

First and foremost, let go of the stigma around YES or NO, they are just words and choices, that have different meanings for all of us, at different times.

Start saying NO today and see how good you feel after you’ve said it.

My Recent NO’s / News

I’ve had a lot of newness come into my life recently after a year of what felt like at times like I was going backwards, all due to me feeling ready to start saying YES again from a place of knowing who I am and who I want to be moving forward.

I signed up for a 3-year Counselling and Psychotherapy course, I started a local Reiki treatment business and am starting to coach twice weekly Animal Flow classes, all amazing and all perfect, but I got a little carried away with my YES’s.

I found myself back in an energetic space of productivity, creativity and positivity, ideas started flowing and the need to work and collaborate with others has been coming in really strong after a year of solitude and the fatigue that has come from being a lone wolf for too long.

So, I then also embarked on a collaboration with a new friend in creating a workshop in London for December and then started putting together plans to start a podcast on psychedelics with an old friend. I found myself going from a place of energised creativity to a place of potential overwhelm, I could see what was coming so it was time to re-evaluate and start saying no.

To cut a long story short the December workshop has been put off until January and the podcast has been put on ice until my life has settled back into a routine again and I have integrated my new endeavours into my life.

What helped me make the choices?

An understanding and awareness of how the powerful creator in me can get out of control at times and an honest reflection of what I can cope with in relation to my own energetic needs and output.

I want to make sure I can show up fully with the energy needed to make the projects I’m involved with a success or at least give them a fighting chance of succeeding.

If you don’t manage your own energy, no one else will and not only will others not get the best from you, neither will you.

If you’re struggling to know what you want or need out of life and are feeling a bit lost then my Free 14 Day Intuition Upgrade can help you, to sign up just click here. 👈



Adam Stansbury

Helping to shine a light on your path, so that you may see the way more clearly.