If pleasing people is your thing then saying No can be difficult. You don’t want to hurt that person’s feelings by appearing rude or uncooperative. But saying yes can often be detrimental because you end up taking on more work or commitments, which limit your own capacity to focus achieving your own goals.
Over time you’ll begin to resent this and will blame yourself as you work longer hours under more stress to help other people.
One of the benefits of developing your mental toughness is that you learn to say ‘No’ more often and to feel absolutely okay in doing so. This is because you focus more on the importance of achieving your outcomes and less on the importance of feelings.
Tanja Kaiser Editor of ‘Adidas Game Plan A’ journal provides some valuable and practical strategies on “How to say No”:
1. Notice the No’s around you
You will find that people say no all the time and in most cases it’s no big deal.
2. Accept a No for an answer
Making this a habit will make saying No a lot easier.
3. Meme the broken record
Practice staying persistent and don’t respond to a requestor’s new angles. However, this technique is not for people you work closely with.
4. Blame something objective
If a certain task is simply outside your job description or generally out of scope, blaming a policy will make it feel less personal.
5. Is it a 9 out of 10?
An easy way to determine if you should accept or decline a request is by judging it by the good old 1-10 scale. Gladly embrace the 9s and 10s and say no to everything below.
I certainly endorse Tanya’s view in her article that saying ‘No’ to one thing is always a ‘Yes’ to others because your time and energy are precious. By saying No, You will feel inspired to filter out your entire reticent Yes’s and free up room to channel your commitments into meaningful projects.
As she says, what does your Yes mean if you cannot say No?
In the end you might trade popularity for respect – but that’s not such a bad thing after all.
View Tanya’s full post
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