Just say NO!

Did the month of March just zoom by you as fast as it did me?  It is now a big blur…  Hehehe!  I have to confess that it is largely due to my being too busy and trying to tend to a whole slew of things while balancing family too.  Does the superheroine Wonder Woman mean anything to you?

I feel like I am her sometimes… or at least need to be her…

So what I learned about in the past few weeks was something that has been taught by life incessantly: “learning to say “No”.

This is different from White Space.  You have to take action boldly to just say “NO”.  Of course there are many types of “No’s” when you think of it.  The “I am not really on board, but I will let you down easy” type of NO, the flat out NO, the “there is no way in all get out!” NO, etc.  I learned to do it all.  

I am sure you would like to know why this revelation was so sudden and actionable for me.  Although I am not yet a pro at it, I am well on my way! So, allow me to share with you.Say NO!

Saying NO to people doesn’t come naturally to me, so I had to device some steps/questions to help me make my decisions:

  1. What is asked of me?  Sometimes, before we are clear of what it is people are asking us to do, we answer “Yes” and then we realize that we have just agreed to do something that entailed much more.  Have you ever said yes to helping out at a party to find yourself planning the whole thing?  Or to review one report to find yourself in charge of the reports for the whole company?  Taking the time to ask for clarification has helped me in more ways than one.  Every time I fail to ask questions, I end up entangled in something undesirable.
  2. Who is asking?  Be weary of the habitual favor seeker who does not know his/her limits.  It’s one thing to be committed to a certain task, but it is another thing to have someone not realizing that they are asking for too much of you too many times.  Always be of services to others, but make sure you keep your priorities straight and let people know that there are limits to your capacity of helping.
  3. Will everything be ok if I say no?  That is a question that is important to me.  I do not like to let others down and tend to over-extend myself.  I started asking myself: “If I say no, will everybody be ok?”  That prompts more quick questions like: would they find someone else to do the task, what has happened in the past when I was not present, etc?  This quick analysis has helped me make my decisions more efficiently.  
  4. What’s on my plate right now? Pay attention to the responsibilities you already have.  Not being in touch with all you have going on can give you the illusion that you can take more on.  That is dangerous, especially when you consider that this is a false evaluation of your current situation.  

Oh, I am sure we could go on, and on with more questions, but I wanted to get the thoughts forming in your mind.  Saying NO can be a good thing after all, especially when the tradeoff would be for you to say a “Half-Yes” where you would do both yourself and others a disservice.  

I encourage you to take inventory of your “Saying NO” habits to make the proper adjustments.  I know my tips were quick ones, but they are aimed at getting you on your way to saying NO more often and saying YES to the appropriate things with all your heart.

Now it’s your turn: In what ways will you be making changes to your “NO-saying” habits?  What will be your situation evaluation tool of choice?  I want to hear back from you, so fill up the columns below with your thoughts.  Did anything ring a bell for you?

Keep the Faith that saying NO will get easier as you go 🙂


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6 Responses to “Just say NO!”

  1. Very well said. I can definitely relate. Just yesterday had a conversation relatingnto this topic. Question 3 was our topic of discussion and we concluded, YES. Everything was fine before us and would be fine after or without us.

    • Thank you Pam! Isn’t it something once you realize that you have a choice to take the time to analyze the situation and make a decision!? This is really cool!

  2. You’re absolutely right – I’ve been trying to say No a lot more these days. I think the question that I ask myself, as you mentioned, is “will everything be okay if I say no?” Realizing that others can complete said task, or that plans will not fall through because of my absence has really allowed me to feel better and even empowered by saying no. This was my favorite line…”saying NO more often and saying YES to the appropriate things”. Thanks for the reminder!

    • That is the most important thing in my eyes. The issues do resolve themselves even when we do not participate to their solutions sometimes. Depending on the problem and how important you are in its resolve, when you take the time to assess the situation, it enables you to make the best decision either way.

  3. I’m gonna need to remember this! Thanks for sharing!

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