One of the shortest and simplest words causes even the most confident people stress. Most people say “no” because they would rather sacrifice their time and energy, than cause conflict or experience feelings of guilt. It takes practice to step outside your comfort zone, but the sacrifice will be well worth it. How many of you have said “yes” to someone, knowing your true intention is to say no? How many times have you said “yes” to something, thus creating overobligation and more stress? It may be time to put yourself and your priorities first, while learning it’s ok to say “no” and let go of the guilt associated with it. By saying “no” you are not only being true to yourself, but respecting all those people asking things of you.
1. Get your priorities straight
What’s most important to you? Write this down and look at it often. Once you clarify what exactly you want for yourself, it will be easier to stop saying “yes” to things that get in the way. Your time and energy are extremely valuable, choose wisely.
2. Stop focusing on being “nice”
If you say “yes” just to be nice, chances are you’ll follow through half-heartedly. This will most likely not go over very well with the person who asked you, and you won’t feel very good about yourself either. Only say “yes” if you truly intend to follow through. This week take a minute before responding to a request. Take some time to figure out the underlying reason why you are saying ‘yes’.
3. Saying “no” is simply refusing the request
You have every right to say no without giving a reason. Remember that you are simply refusing the request, not rejecting the person. Again, practice saying “no” this week to requests that are not in alignment with your highest priorities.