There are primarily three themes in life – Work, relationships and you. Saying no is a mechanism to prioritise yourself.
If you don’t start saying no, and keep doing things you don’t want to do, you begin to dislike the person you are trying to please. This is true for personal and work relations.
Saying no is a form of self-care. For a long time, I mistook being kind for being nice. Saying yes to everything was something I did as part of being nice. This leads to burnout. Burnout doesn’t always come from doing a lot of things. It comes from doing things you don’t like.
It took me a while to realise that people will push you over and run over you if you are the “nice guy”. Saying no is liberating. It lets you stay authentic to yourself.
Make the process of saying no easier. When in doubt, say no. Have a list of your priorities. Say no to everything else. Also, leave room for serendipity.
Be gentle, but be assertive. You can be kind and powerful at the same time.