One of the most powerful words in the English language is “No”. Only two letters, yet it evokes all kinds of emotions.
When I sat down and got truly honest with myself, I realized that this was part of the reason I hadn’t accomplished what I wanted in my life. I was spending too much time doing things to serve other people and not enough time doing things to serve myself.
There is a difference in serving yourself and being selfish. Selfish people do not care what happens to others, or what other people may need. When you have issues saying no, you are the opposite of selfish. In fact, you are probably someone who helps other people too much. You are giving too much of yourself away.
There needs to be a distinction between being selfish and analyzing a situation to decide whether or not it is going to be good for your life and your goals.
Things change when you add “No” into your vocabulary. People respect you. They may be irritated or upset at first, but that is their problem, not yours. Eventually people will see the value of saying no when they can see how much time you have freed up and how much you’re thriving. It can happen in your personal life or your career.
Some of examples of when I should have said no: when I worked so many hours I would cry in the shower after being called in again. When I would come home at the end of the day wondering how I was going to get through the next. When I had an overwhelming urge to rage quit in the middle of my shift because I couldn’t handle another single second without self care.
It doesn’t have to be that dramatic. Maybe someone asks you to join them for dinner but you know you have already planned a workout for the evening. Maybe someone asks you to stay out late when you know you’re getting up early to kick off a great morning routine for the next day.
A lot of times when we fail to say no, we are contributing to self sabotage.
So how do you decide when to put your foot down in your own life and decide that this is not serving your goals and you have to let it go?
Is this going to derail you from your goals for the day? – If so, it is most likely a good idea to refrain from it. You set those goals and the only way you will move forward is if you consistently meet them.
Is it something that is going to make you happy in the long term? – Choose happiness. Always.
Is it really important to someone who means a lot to you? – If so, it is important to consider this carefully. If this person really needs help or if you know it would make their day, it may be a good choice to go ahead.
Is it going to benefit you in the long run career wise? – If not, say no! Don’t take on extra work to the point of burnout if you aren’t getting some sort of benefit from doing it. Things won’t fall apart without you, promise. If they do, it isn’t your problem (unless you’re an entrepreneur, and that is a whole other ball game).
- Are you going to better yourself by doing it? – If yes, then go ahead. If not, time to cut it loose! All actions in your life should be steps towards becoming the person you know you can be.
What are some times that you should have said no but didn’t? What has changed in your life since you began to say no?