If you’re a parent or have spent any amount of time around a toddler, you know that one of the very first words they learn to say is the word…no. Sometimes it’s cute and other times, not so much. But, here’s the thing…why is it so hard for us to say? It’s a small word! It only has two doggone letters!!! Sometimes you just have to do it. Just say it — NO! That two letter word can SET YOU FREE!
I know that I’m not the only one who’s had trouble saying no and then later find yourself stressed out about what you’ve said yes to. Many of us live our lives feeling overwhelmed and just plain frustrated. If you think of the aspects of your life where you feel most overwhelmed, stressed out, or just fed up, there is probably a common theme going on: you haven’t said “no” when you needed to. Take a few moments and do this exercise:
Grab a moment to yourself, grab a pen and paper and write down all of the things you’re stressed about. Now go through that list and put a checkmark next to those things on your list where you’ve…
- Taken on someone else’s responsibility
- Taken on someone else’s problem
- Taken on something you really did not want to do
- Taken on something you should not be investing your time in but you couldn’t say NO!
What’s left on your list? How much more manageable and less stressful would those things be if you didn’t have all of those other things on your list that don’t belong to you anyway? Those are the things that deserved a resounding NO!
I’ve been there with a few different situations and scenarios and finally had to get to the place where I felt comfortable saying NO even if it meant having some hurt feelings and damaged “friendships”. Let’s face it; some people will get upset, disappointed or whatever. It’s a tough pill to swallow but it’s the truth. How much is your sanity worth to you? I had to realize that my saying YES was becoming a distraction and hindering me from accomplishing my goals AND stressing me out!
Save yourself the headache of saying yes, only to regret it later, by learning the power in a NO! Here are a few scenarios that come to mind that you should SAY NO TO…
- ANY request that will take you away from reaching your goals – As women it’s in our nature to put others first (well lots of us anyway, lol) and we do this even if it causes us to neglect ourselves, our wants, and our needs. Get rid of the mindset that you must help others before you help yourself. Even on an airplane they tell you that in case of an emergency you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you’re able to help someone else. YOU BREATHE FIRST! YOU ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS FIRST! Someone is always going to need help and if you’re always giving their needs priority over yours, you will always be left behind and will not reach your goals in your life or your business.
- Business opportunities that you really have no interest in – Just because you can’t say no or don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings is not a good reason to take on a business opportunity. It doesn’t matter how much money they claim you can make. Does the business interest you? Is the business aligned with your purpose or passion? If you’re answering no to either of those, then you are probably wasting your time. Believe me, I know! I’ve done it before years ago. The money sounds good and it seems pretty easy but it didn’t last. Why? I wasn’t passionate about it. It has to be about more than the money if it’s going to last. Just say no and if you want to be in business, then pursue one that’s aligned with your purpose and passions.
- Lending money – Now we know that at some time or another most of us have had to borrow money from someone. Hopefully you’ve paid it back and didn’t make it a habit. And that’s just it. It’s the habitual borrowers that really need to be told no. Why should you have to stress out about your money because someone else can’t manage their money? Every situation is different and you’ll have to make the decision on your own but here’s a way that you can decide whether your help should continue or if you should say NO! Ask the borrower, “What is your plan to change your situation so that you don’t have to keep coming to me to borrow money?” If they don’t have a plan, what should your response be? NO! Why? That is a never ending dark hole. If they do have a plan or would like your help in pulling one together, then MAYBE you offer to help them for a specific predetermined, agreed upon by the both of you, length of time. After that time period is over, your answer is a definite… NO!
- Unhealthy relationships – Now ladies, we know better! You know when you’re in a relationship that isn’t making your life any better or you’re not getting out of it what you want. It could be verbally abusive, emotionally abusive, God forbid physically abusive or simply not what or who you really want! So, why are you still there? Get out, say NO and move on! Allowing yourself to stay in an unhealthy relationship speaks to a much deeper problem than simply unable to say no. Remember, you teach people how to treat you. ESPECIALLY men! So if you keep finding yourself in the same type situations with men, you need to learn how to say NO and focus on you first! Get you healthy from the inside out and then try again and remember to have your NO ready to fire when someone or something presents itself and it is not good for YOU!
The next time you’re faced with any of these scenarios, take a moment before you blurt out an answer. If you have to, tell the person you’ll get back to them. Take the time; get up the nerve and JUST SAY NO!