“Focusing is about saying ‘no'." -Steve Jobs
“I can't tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
Requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, or in person. Somebody invites you to do something that you really don’t want to do and you begin searching for excuses. But did you know that ‘No’ is a complete sentence?
Thinking you are a bad person for saying no is a symptom of people pleasing. One of the quickest ways to feel overwhelmed, resentful, and depleted is to mindlessly say yes to every request. Saying yes when you need to say no causes burnout. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you must learn the Art of Saying No.
When I suggest people simplify their life by saying No, people often say, “But I’d rather say Yes!”
Of course — saying Yes sounds so much more positive! I’ll say Yes to yoga, Yes to precious time with family, and Yes to adventure! But where does the room for these beautiful things come from? We must admit to ourselves that there’s a limit to how much we can do in a day.
So in order to say Yes we must first say No. We must begin saying No to things that are taking up space in our lives — space that could be used for something we really, really want to do.
I get it. Saying No may sound new and scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 Tips For Learning the Art of Saying No:
Value Your Time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is.
Know Your Priorities. Even if you do have some extra time, is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?
Practice Saying No. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” often is a great way to get better at and more comfortable with saying the word.
Don’t Apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry…” because people think apologizing sounds polite. While politeness is important, you need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.
Stop Being Nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying Yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time, they will continue to do so.
In summary, if you want to make positive improvements in your life, saying No is one of the fastest ways to do it. Let us know if you tried it and how that one little word improved your life!