9 Questions that Will Empower You to Say “No” without Guilt

“No” isn’t a four-letter word but we can feel just as bad for saying it (maybe even worse!). This list of nine questions helps me say “no” guilt-free. It’s based on my background as a counselor and life coach as well as what’s been helpful for me personally.

I hope this list is helpful for you too!

A Free Resource:

9 questions that will empower you to say "no" without guilt - free printable

These 9 questions are available as a free print so that you can easily download and refer back to them any time. You can find the 5×7 print (and other resources) on this page.

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. 2 Cor. 9:7


1 Does this truly need to be done or is it a distraction?

It’s worth asking if things are necessary. Many of them are not. – James Clear


2 If I say yes to this will I be resentful?

Compassionate people…say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment. – Brené Brown


3 If I say yes to this, what will I be saying no to?

Every time we say yes to a request, we are also saying no to anything else we might accomplish with the time. – Tim Harford


4 If I say yes to this, am I taking the spot of someone else who is created and called for it?

I needed to say no so that she could fly. – Suzanne Eller


5 Am I trusting God can meet this need even if I’m not the one who does it?

He’s got the whole world in His hands. – Traditional children’s song


6 Is fear of how someone will react determining my decision?

The most basic boundary-setting word is no. It lets others know that you exist apart from them. – Henry Cloud and John Townsend


7 Am I the one to do this or am I just supposed to connect this person to someone else?

Sometimes God just wants me to be a connector, a bridge to the person who can say a loud and enthusiastic “yes!” – Holley Gerth


8 Am I answering intentionally or impulsively?

When I impulsively say yes or no sometimes that’s a disaster waiting to happen. – Jennifer Watson


9 Does this fit with who God has created me to be and what He has asked me to prioritize in this season of my life?

One part of this journey, of course, was learning to say no. I couldn’t have remade my life without that very important word. – Shauna Niequist


Want More?

Listen to Episode 25 of More than Small Talk: “No” Is Not a Four-Letter Word. Here’s a 30 second clip…


About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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