It’s so much easier to say “yes” than it is to say “no” but oftentimes we overwhelm ourselves by saying “yes” when we really want to say “no.”
This is in large part due to the fact that we are hard-wired to please people. It can be uncomfortable to tell someone “no” because we don’t like how it feels to disappoint someone. Some of us are also afraid of conflict and – in an effort to avoid it – will be more agreeable than we actually want to be.
In today’s fast-paced, high-tech world, burnout has become an epidemic. That’s why it’s vital for your well-being to know when to say yes and how to say no.
The basic answer to the question of when to say yes is, when it feels right to you. Deep inside, we know what we want to do but when a question arises that we feel compelled to say “no” to, chances are a quick introspection might reveal the reason you’re saying no is actually out of fear.
Saying yes to opportunities for advancement, learning, growth, and excitement can lead to countless new experiences that will enrich your life.
The word “yes,” however, isn’t just for others. It’s important for us to also say “Yes” to ourselves. To give ourselves permission to just go for it!
This can be difficult if you are surrounded by nay-sayers but, trust me, even though friends, family, and colleagues might mean well, at the end of the day it’s your life and although having moral support is a powerful tool, sometimes you have to trust yourself enough to do what you want to do. For example, when I was in a similar situation and I knew I needed to make some changes to bring balance to my life, I had to tell myself “yes.”
While saying yes can lead to adventure and growth, be sure that you’re not spreading yourself too thin by agreeing too often. Before you say yes to someone, take a deep breath. Give yourself that little extra time to focus on what you truly want before you agree to it. Breathing is a powerful way to regroup and center yourself.
Strangely, one of the smallest words is also one of the most difficult for many of us to say but knowing different ways to say no can help alleviate our fear of conflict and propel us towards a more fulfilling life.
You don’t really need to explain why you are saying no which is something many people struggle with. The truth is, if the person you’re saying “no” to wants to know why, you can choose to explain it but the reality is, it’s your choice to say no regardless of the reason(s).
While it’s not a good idea to leave people hanging in the air, sometimes it’s helpful to tell them you will get back to them or ask them to let you think on it. This gives you time to evaluate the situation and decide if you want to say yes or no.
Keep your answer simple. Sometimes simply saying, “Thank you so much for asking me. While it is not something I’d like to do, please know how honored I am that you felt you could ask me” or “No, thank you.” are the best and easiest ways to just say no.
If you feel like you are over-stressed and spread too thin, let’s get together and discuss how you can start changing the ways you say yes and no, and get you on the right path to a fulfilling life.