Wanna know what gets between most people and the things they want?
It’s a simple two letter word: NO.
Most people don’t say it enough!
As humans, we want to say yes to the things people ask of us. We want to be socially obliging, to be part of a team.
We say yes, because it’s easier than saying no.
It feels kind to say yes. But you’ve got to ask yourself, kind for who?
All it takes is a few easy “yes!”’s and suddenly you’re taking on that extra project at work, making the six layer birthday cake for your second cousin’s wedding and going on that super yacht cruise party the same night your major project is due (but, ahem, that does sound fun. Send me an invite too plz ?).
But all of these commitments pull your focus away from the things you actually want to spend your time and energy on. That’s not being kind to you.
Saying no isn’t selfish, it’s self-care, and we need to practice it more. – Tweet it!
I’ve got a strategy that can help.
It’s called the ‘Next Tuesday Rule’.
Here’s how it works:
- When someone asks you to attend or do something in the future – whether that’s a work project, or a social commitment, imagine that it’s taking place not three months in the future, but next Tuesday.
- Now, think about all the commitments you have this week already (the reality of your life), and the goals you want to achieve, and then think about trying to squeeze this extra project in as well.
- Does this new commitment feel so exciting and important to you that you still want to make it happen? Or, framed in the reality of your busy life, does it feel like additional stress you don’t need?
Use that to help guide your decision. You can say yes, but you can also say no.
I know that saying no feels uncomfortable. But saying yes to commitments that will overcrowd, overwhelm and overcommit you – that’s uncomfortable too!
Sometimes you have to choose a moment of discomfort and say the difficult ‘no’, instead of saying an easy ‘yes’ and creating more discomfort and stress for yourself later on.
Because this is such a big topic, next week I’m gonna dive into this even more.
I’ll be sharing my tips for saying no quickly and kindly, plus some examples you can use – because there’s a right way to say no, and a wrong way! (It took me a little while to figure out the difference!).
Now I want to hear from you. I’d love to know:
If you’re good at saying no, or if you need a little practice.
Any tips that have helped you say no in the past.
Let me know your answers, in the comments below.
And remember, be open to sharing in the comments. Thousands of people stop by the blog every week, and your answer might just really help someone else!