Can you relate to saying no to a request several times in your mind and then blurting out YES?
How many times have you responded with: “Sure, I’ll do it,” “Whatever, you need” or “Call me if you need me?”
Guilt, obligation, peer pressure, the need to please and now the holiday season can pull at our hearts and influence us to agree to ‘write checks we know we can’t cash.’
To quote Warren Buffet, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”
We usually know what we would like to say no to, but have a hard time following through with it.
We fear upsetting others.
We struggle with FOMO-the fear of missing out
We struggle with decision making-it is ‘easier’ to say yes.
We offer ourselves even when the well is empty.
Saying yes may feel good in the moment as it often avoids tension and the internal struggle with an unpleasant decision. But then, we must follow through on these promises.
We can still show empathy and set boundaries by knowing when to say no to our clients, loved ones, friends, family and colleagues and yes to us. Saying no does not mean you are a bad or selfish person, just like saying yes does not mean you are a good or selfless person.
The following strategies can guide you in saying No:
Ask Yourself the Now Question:
The Undercover Economist, Tim Harford poses the question: “If I had to do this today, would I agree to it?” If the answer is no, then you may want to consider how adding this to your plate will impact you
Take time to weigh your options:
You do not have to give an immediate yes, you have permission to take the time to reflect on how saying yes can impact your future self. Also, if you know the answer is no, try these direct, yet compassionate approaches for saying no: “I won’t be able to attend that day.” I would love to help, but I am at my capacity and unable to offer any assistance.”
Learn to tolerate the response of others. Boundary setting will unleash emotions. When you listen to your own yes and no; others may get disappointed, and this is okay. Setting boundaries can help improve your relationships in the long run. You are teaching people how to treat you and to respect your space.
“No” is a statement about your current situation and not necessarily a rejection of the requestor. When you say no, you show you are not afraid of admitting that you value your time and honor your emotional capacity.
Saying yes to you is to be a friend to yourself first. If you live your life based on the approval of others, you will struggle to experience freedom, happiness, and fulfillment.
Remember, you cannot be all things to all people.
Vitamin C Healing Resources:
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To Your Health and Prosperity,