It’s only by saying “NO” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.Steve Jobs
It is easy to say “YES” to every request when your priorities are undefined. So when your priorities are not scheduled in your planner, other people’s priorities get into your planner, ultimately delaying your goal even further. The solution is to be clear about your higher objectives and learn to say no gracefully.
I can say that because this exactly was one of my flaws. I was not able to say NO to anybody because I felt that would be rude and discourteous and it was significantly affecting my goals.
This takes me to the time when I was a new teacher in the school and most of my colleagues were senior to me. So it was most obvious that the majority of the tasks whether relevant or irrelevant were assigned to me and saying NO to anybody was not my cup of tea at that time. Things were going out of hand and I was not at peace so the principal of the school took the matter into his hands. He gave me a piece of advice that I still remember.
He told me it’s only by saying no that you can focus on the really important things. You are not here to please anybody. Nobody will judge you based on that. So focus on your priority tasks and learn to say No without being judged or being selfish. That was a life-changing moment for me. I understood that nothing is more important than inner peace and if something costs you your inner peace, it’s too expensive!!
Benefits of Saying No
So let’s discuss some of the benefits of saying “NO”:
- More energy. Not only will you be saving energy, the fact that you are now in conscious control will add extra energy.
- More time. There are only 24 hours in a day, but from now on, more of them are for you.
- More confidence. Saying “no” to others can often amount to saying “yes” to yourself. This is a back-handed “I love you” to the most important person in your life. Take it as a compliment and feel good about it.
- More control. Saying “no” means you are behind the steering wheel and can go wherever you want.
- More respect. You’ll respect yourself more and so will others. They might not like you as much, but if they were trying to step over your boundaries before, they probably didn’t like you much anyway – not really. At least you’ll have their respect when you show them your clear, no-discussion limits.
- More fun. Yes, life is here to be enjoyed. When you stop working for others, you start working for yourself and start fitting in the fun.
How To Gracefully Say “NO”
- Start to notice. To start saying NO, first you have to notice that you are being asked to do things all the time by almost everyone with whom you interact.
- Get a life plan. If you have no plans and goals, other people will be happy to make them for you. So be clear about your goals in life and stick to your plan.
- Consider 20%. Take the time to consider the top 20 per cent of requests to see if they fit with your life. If so, say “yes.” By taking your time, you aren’t reacting with a people-pleasing monkey brain and can sincerely consider the importance of requests.
So all in all, focus on your priorities, focus on your planner and learn to say NO with elegance. There’s nothing wrong in that. Just think about it! 😊
You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say “NO”Lori Deschene