When Yes Means No

This is my final blog offering before I retire. I want to thank you all individually and collectively for making my work both interesting and extremely satisfying for the past 19 years. You could say why not round it to 20 years, but if the truth is known I have been talking about letting go for at least the past 4 years!!

So, when is it time and how do you know? How do we make these monumental decisions in life? I was lucky enough to spy a very brief article while holidaying recently and staying at my son-in-law’s house. He had a health and safety magazine with the page opened to “When Yes Means No”.

I was immediately intrigued which I hope you are too.

Many of us, in work and in life, find it so hard to say no. We are driven by behaviours such as helpful, empathy, caring, responsibility, pride and dare I say it, guilt! Do you sometimes say yes for the wrong reasons? Once this happens do you then feel resentful?

What have you given up when you say yes? In other words what have you said No to?

There is a book referenced in the article by Rory Vaden called Procrastinate on Purpose which sounds fascinating (I will have to read it in my retirement) He says, “anytime you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else” Think about it. Powerful words. He suggests if you focus on the alternatives e.g. what you might be giving up to say Yes, then you might be able to take some of the emotion out of it.

So how could this work for you? I am not talking about the one off exceptional cases, more about your regular habits. Maybe you are:

  • saying yes to staying back late at a meeting, finishing projects after hours and then it means no to spending time on your fitness goals, time with your kids.
  • saying yes to a job that is less than satisfying and no to exploring new horizons.
  • saying yes to your kids because it is easier than saying no and not thinking about the repercussions.
  • saying yes to that emotional purchase and no to the longer term saving plan.

For me I have been saying yes to continue running my business for the past few years and therefore no to retirement. I have been very happy and consciously making that decision, but have I truly explored what I am saying no to? NO! I haven’t opened that door until now.

You can have fun with this and reverse it. When I say no to something, what am I saying yes to…

Have a family or team discussion. Leave a last comment on this website.

I want to thank you for your ongoing loyalty to my communications and for referrals and recommendations that you have made over the years. Some of you have even returned to see me at times.

Now to introduce Andrew Hodges who is taking over my corporate clients as well as the executive and career coaching. Andrew and I have known each other for the past 30 years when we met through study. Andrew is highly qualified and an experienced Harrison Assessment user and advocate. You can find more on Andrew’s website hodgesadvisoryservices.com.au You will also see from his photo, that Andrew is 20 years younger than me so a bonus. He will continue the service under his business name so maybe make a note and store this email. He will have my contact list, so you will hear from him. Obviously, you have time to remove yourself from the emails at any time.

Also, some of you met Philippa Hurford and Helen Drousas who provided additional career coaching services for FMWtransition over the past 12 months. I thank them and know that Andrew will be maintaining those options for you all.

May the festive season give you time to reflect and to fill your heart with love and your life with laughter. Wishing peace, goodwill and happiness for all.

Kind regards,


About Fran Whittingham

Fran has been career coaching and consulting for 19 years helping people find the right fit for the right job. She has countless stories of people in career transition, square pegs in round holes, and people with their ladders against the wrong wall. Now she is retiring so if you want to make some career decisions go to hodgesadvisoryservices.com.au


4 Comments on “When Yes Means No”

  1. What a fabulous final Blog, dear Fran! I love this concept, much wisdom in this and yes food for thought! Wishing you all t he best in your retirement and all the things you will be saying YES to!Love Helen

    1. Thanks Helen! Thanks too for all the other personal emails I received in response to this blog.

  2. Thanks for the inspiring final post Fran. You will be missed and I am grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to work together since DBM days. Looking forward to seeing lots of retirement photos on FB to make me even more envious. I hope retirement gives you as much back as you have given to us over the years. Thank you my friend.

    1. Thanks June,
      It has indeed been a pleasure working with you all these years! Appreciate all you have done for me too.

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