People. Situations. Commitments. Does a combination of these things have you totally overwhelmed? Have you figured out why you continue to say "yes" so easily but find it so difficult to say "no"? Women in particular seem to fall into this trap. We feel an obligation to say "yes". Being unable to say no can make you exhausted, irritable, stressed, and leave you with absolutely no time for your own list of things to get done. We want to be liked. We have the need to be accepted. Showing we are a team player or not wanting to hurt someone's feelings are reasons we choose to say "yes" too.
You don't want to have your plate too full for many reasons. The door of opportunity may open and you will find there is no room left. Being overwhelmed is actually counterproductive. Having the sense of being stressed out and short-tempered takes its toll --- on you and those around you. Want to improve your quality of life? Learn to say "NO".
WHERE DO I BEGIN?
You’re probably asking “Where do I begin?” It can't be too easy or you would already be doing it, right? It does, like anything else, take some practice. You know that old adage “Practice makes perfect?” That’s a great approach to take when beginning to put your foot down and learning to say “NO”! The following are five tips to help you overcome the yes syndrome and get you on the road to relaxing, making time for you, and feeling comfortable with saying no.
1. Separate refusal from rejection: You are turning down a request, not a person. Give yourself permission to see the difference. People will understand that you simply can't say "yes" to everyone and everything. Even if they don't, you should still learn the difference between refusal and rejection. Learn to overcome the guilty feeling that will probably come up for you. It's called setting personal boundaries.
2. Don't feel guilty: It's important for people to hear "no" sometimes. Nearly as important as it is to say "no". Again, it's not rejection. This is an important skill to master. Accept that the world is not perfect and not everyone can say "yes" all the time. You can't please everyone all the time and still have balance in your life.
3. No need to explain: Don't feel as if you need to go into a long detail of why you are saying no. Keep it simple. "No, I'm sorry I can't help you with that." Period. End of discussion. No further explanation needed. If the person urges you to explain why simply say "I just can't help you right now. Thanks for asking though."
4. Don't commit immediately: It's okay to think about the request for help for a day or two. Be honest with the person and let them know you need some time. Check your calendar and honestly evaluate the time commitment it will take. Ask yourself is this is a commitment that you will enjoy. Is it something that will make you feel good for helping out? If the answer is yes and you want to accept it, great. If not, use tip 3. Seriously. Saying "yes" within 10 seconds isn't always the best choice!
5. Lastly, practice. Practice does make perfect. Stand in front of your mirror. Practice saying "no". Seriously, this is a great way to get you comfortable with saying "no". It doesn't happen overnight. Like with most things, it takes time to get into the routine. Practice really does help.
Hopefully these tips propel you towards feeling empowered and free. Let the resent and guilt melt away. Practice, practice, practice. And reach out for assistance from a friend when you feel the "yes" syndrome taking hold. Challenge yourself to begin practicing to say "no" today. Why wait? There's no better time than the present to learn how to say "no", without the guilt. It's all about building healthy boundaries.
Thank you Pamela for this wonderful post. Learn more about Pamela:
Pamela Lewerenz is known as the Brick Wall Coach, a business consultant that assists ambitious Generation X business owners to build a focused plan and scale their business. Dubbed a productivity guru, Pamela teaches time management techniques and her popular goal setting workshops along with the ever popular vision board course. With over 30 years of business experience, Pamela delivers both one-on-one coaching and group coaching, making her services affordable to ALL business owners, whether start-ups or established companies. You can connect with her on FB in her Brick Wall Community or learn more about her solutions for your problems at her website, The Brick Wall Coach.