If you find it difficult to say no to others, then Steve Jobs’ quote may inspire you. He quoted, ‘It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on the things that are really important’. Indeed, learning to say no is more important than saying yes. We all know that our brain isn’t trained to process the request faster and hence eventually we end up saying yes to everything that comes our way. The fact that being a good friend/partner/employee/partner/human means always saying yes, is so ingrained that we end up shelving our feelings and needs.
This problem is more common than we think, especially for those who are empathetic or nurturing. But you should know that saying no can earn you respect from yourself as well as people around you. What is more interesting is that the ability to say no is closely linked to self-confidence. Those who have low self-confidence or self-esteem often feel nervous about anatomizing others. Such people even tend to rate other’s needs highly above their own and end up being exhausted, stressed and irritable.
When it comes to saying no in a business, it must be supplemented with an honest and fair explanation. But this doesn’t mean you write multi-para explanatory emails justifying your no or stand up in front of your employees giving speech every time you have to deny their suggestions or requests. Hence it is important that before saying no, you take time to process the request or command to understand the priority level. Once you start putting value to your own time, you learn to prioritize and earn respect.
The benefit of saying no is that you get time for the things you have put on the back burner and have more control on your life. Saying no even empowers you and lets you choose what gives you ultimate satisfaction and pleasure. But this doesn’t mean you keep saying no to everyone and every time. Be honest to others’ requests and messages. Understand if it’s urgent and if you can accommodate it between your schedules. However, be honest and you will learn to confidently make decisions based on your own priorities. This is empowering and will allow you to say yes to new possibilities.
But remember that the next time you refuse any one, you turn down the request in a way that doesn’t damage your professional reputation. Listening to your instinct, understanding your motives and confidently saying no when appropriate will allow you to reap the benefits.
So unbuckle yourself from the fear of getting humiliated and learn to say ‘NO’ that makes you a more productive and confident person, in profession and in person.
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