Now say it five more times so that it rolls out of your mouth with ease. No. No. No. No. No. 

No is one of the most powerful words you can offer in life to be more effective and more efficient.  Learning to say "no" more often allows you to say yes to more time doing the things you love, have more money in your pocket, and have more control over your actions.

I get it don't want to hurt feelings. You don't want people thinking you don't support them. You don't want people to assume you think you're better than their ask or you're being a hater. At some point, you have to put your people pleasing ways to the side and go a bit deeper. I've mulled over these things countless times and it always comes down to the opportunity cost; me.

Saying yes to someone can also mean saying no to you.  Most people associate the word no with rudeness, but that is far from the truth. It's simply that you're unable to meet their request at that time. Answering "no" can be for a myriad of reasons like lack of time to prepare, you're simply unavailable, it goes against policy/belief, it's not in the budget, etc... These are not bad reasons to tell someone no and you should disassociate any negative feelings.

Of course delivery and tact are everything. I hate explaining myself, but I will when giving a negative response to someone. It's never a personal issue that I have with them, but it's 100% personal in regards to me. It has to align with my life plan. With this understanding, I also had to prepare myself to not take it personally when I received a no response. I apply the same logic and keep plugging away until I get the outcome I desire.

James Altucher, the co-author of The Power of No, created a slide presentation on "12 Things To Say No To Today." See it here.