Say No So You Can Say Hell Yes!

Renée Dineen
2 min readMar 5, 2021


Do you find yourself defining who you are by what you do? I did.

There was a time in my life where my achievements were far more important than my soul’s desires or my personal well being.

It doesn’t help that we also live in culture that respects us more for what we achieve and the titles and accolades that define us, than for fundamentally respecting us for who we are. A culture that says we can’t say ‘no’.
As a result, we have lost our way. We have blurred the relationship between who we are and what we do. We have in essence, given up our power and lost connection to our soul’s desires.

At an organizational level, we have sacrificed engagement for outcomes, at the expense of our people and ultimately, who we were hired to serve. No-one truly wins.

Instead of building a culture that thrives, leadership is caught in the trap of consciously or unconsciously creating cultures where employees are over-doing and over-efforting most everything. We are building cultures that do not have the discipline to say no, even to the wrong things, so they can say yes to all the right things.

How many times have you said ‘yes’ when what you really wanted to say was no?

Do you host a holiday dinner every year but don’t enjoy it?

Do you raise your hand to take on a project you don’t really want to do or realistically even have time for?

Do you commit to waking up early to meet a friend for a workout knowing what you truly want and need is to sleep in?

If so, I can bet that you were not able to give those efforts your full attention and heart. There really are no winners here.

To some degree, we all need to start saying “NO” to what doesn’t align, support or enrich our personal or professional lives so we can start staying “YES” to those things that do. I wish I knew more people who do this really well. Maybe that can be you?!

What I do know is that when we begin to undo the doing in our own do-crazy worlds, we open ourselves up to living a healthier and more authentic life. I’m living proof!



Renée Dineen

Recovering workaholic and action junky that left her executive level career to give herself a genuine shot at doing work that mattered most to her heart.