The biggest challenge when it comes to saying no we worry that we’ll be thought to be negative or unhelpful. While saying yes is thought to be courageous and gracious.
But the simple act of saying no has power and can often be an act of great courage, and most likely many of us should probably do more often.
The next time you’re tempted to automatically say yes, remember there is great power in saying no and sometimes it’s the best answer for everyone.
Here are some reasons when saying no has power:
Not everything is your responsibility. If you are a people-pleaser you might feel it’s your responsibility to say yes to everyone and everything. But the truth is this: Making other people happy isn’t your job, and not everything is your responsibility. You will never please everyone, and over committing can keep you from doing anything well. Decide what you choose to be responsible for and focus on always keeping your commitments.
What other people think of you is none of your business. If you’re saying yes because you want to be seen as nice or kind —forget it. People will think of you the way they think of you—regardless, of what you say. Most of the time their judgments are more grounded in their own projections than anything you do. The only thing you have to concern yourself with is who you are and whether you are being true to yourself.
You are the expert on your own priorities. No one else has full knowledge of what’s important to you, and no one should be telling you what your priorities are. If you’re trying to do something meaningful with your life, saying yes all the time is just a long exercise in frustration. You know what’s most important to you, and those priorities can guide you in knowing when to say yes and when to say no.
You must commit to yourself. We usually think of commitments as promises we make to other people , but it’s important for your commitments to include yourself. Because all that we do, must begin with being committed to ourselves.
You have the right to live your life the way you want it. There’s probably no shortage of people trying to tell you how to live your life, how to run your business and how to make your company work. Remember, though: How you live is your choice. How you spend your time is your choice. Sometimes saying no means living the life we want, while saying yes is allowing others to tell us what to do.
Of course there are many times you can, and should, say yes. But there are also times when saying no is powerful. It is saying that you are being true to yourself and what you want. If you value your life and success, you need to get good at saying no.
LEAD FROM WITHIN: There is power in the simple act of saying no, but for many of us it’s the hardest word to say. When you are saying no; do not lie. do not make excuses, do not over explain. Just decline. It is that simple and that powerful.
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.