“In order to say yes to your priorities you have to be willing to say no to something else.” – Unknown
Life has a funny way of taking advantage of people. We tend to try to do everything we can. People ask us for favors and we are so quick to say yes to them that we forget to think what the cost of that yes is. It happens to all of us daily. We continue to say yes until eventually we are out of time. It’s almost as if we are afraid to say no.
Many of us, myself included have succeeded early in our careers by being the yes person. Yes this, yes I can do that, yes I’d love to help, etc. We say yes to so many things that we overcommit our most valuable asset, time. This overcommitting then makes us feel as if we are not good enough because we make it impossible to juggle all of the things we said we would do! Frankly, it’s exhausting.
The cost of people saying yes doesn’t occur to them until the time comes they have pay the yes with a time. You see, time is expensive, it is the only thing that you will never get back once it is gone. So use your time wisely and don’t say yes to everything. If you would rather be doing something else than the thing that you said yes to then, STOP FEELING OBLIGATED TO SAYING YES!! There are plenty of reasons that you should say no to people and your sanity and future are both on the list!
If you have a goal that you’re trying to reach and saying yes to something will actively take you away from that goal, do not and I repeat DO NOT SAY YES! Further, if you are not interested in what is being asked say no. There is nothing wrong with saying no! You don’t have to tell people no in a rude way, or b bluntly saying “no”.
There ARE professional ways to tell people NO. Hard to believe almost, but it’s true. If someone asks you to hang out on a Friday night but you already planned to study for an important test coming up simple say “It sounds like a great time unfortunately I already committed my time to study for a test”. Its honest, it’s to the point, and most importantly it’s a professional way to let them know you cannot go. They should and likely will understand your commitment to the test and respect your choice to study. But the important thing is to practice saying no.
By practicing saying no you will be more prepared in a situation that is “easy” to say yes in. You can practice by putting yourself in theoretical situations and thinking about professional ways to say no in that situation. You can practice by looking in the mirror and saying no. Heck you can even practice by looking your dog right in the eye and saying NO! Practice makes perfect so the more you practice saying no the better you will be at it. And seriously, don’t be too hard on your dog, they didn’t do anything wrong.
What’s your favorite way to say NO? Comment below!
James A. Lovejoy
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