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The Power Of No

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When was the last time you said no to someone?

If you’re anything like I used to be, the word ‘no’ very rarely passes your lips. As human beings, we tend to have an instinct to want to please other people and do everything we can for them, to the extent that we can actually end up spreading ourselves too thinly.

We don’t even realise how the word ‘no’ could revolutionise our lives. Saying no to things that you’d rather not do or don’t actually need to do gives you time to spend doing what you love rather than what you feel obliged to do. It means you have more energy to put into the things you want to do, and helps you keep track of your real priorities.

When an opportunity comes up or something proposes something to you, saying yes immediately is a reflex, as we’re all programmed to please. So, how can you stop yourself? Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you automatically say yes to something:

  1. WHAT DOES YOUR GUT TELL YOU?

Do you get a sinking feeling in your stomach at the very thought of doing this? Learn to trust what your body tells you, not supress it.

  1. WILL THIS MOVE YOU CLOSER TO YOUR GOALS?

Consider the goals you have for your business, whether it’s for this month, this year, or even longer term? Will doing this get you any closer to them?

  1. WILL THIS TAKE YOU AWAY FROM THE THINGS YOU LOVE?

Will committing to this you can spend less time with your family? Will it cut into quality time with your partner? Will it mean you’re sacrificing that all-important you-time? Will it mean you have less time to rest or to enjoy other hobbies?

  1. WILL THIS BE WORTH IT FINANCIALLY?

At the end of the day, you’re running a business and it has to be financially viable. Will the time you invest in this pay off in pounds?

So now you know that you want to say no, how exactly do you go about actually saying it?

It can be really tricky to find a way of saying no without feeling like you’re being rude (even thought the person you’re saying no to probably won’t think you’re being rude at all), so here’s a guide to saying no nicely.

  1. Open with a compliment if the situation calls for one.
  2. Give your answer.
  3. Say thank you, and mean it!
  4. Give the person encouragement with their project/plan/whatever.
  5. Change the subject or excuse yourself.

MAKING EXCUSES 

When it comes to saying no to someone, you might feel the compulsion to give some kind of specific reason why you can’t do whatever it is you’re being asked to do. Be careful here, as it needs to be an excuse that they can’t solve for you, or suggest an alternative to, like offering to help you with whatever it is you’re doing or pointing out that you’d be better to do it on another day. If you refuse their suggestions, they’ll probably start to think you’re just making excuses. You can, however, just say that you’re too busy, as everyone’s lives are hectic so people are generally much more understanding than you might think and won’t ask questions.

ON THE OTHER HAND…

On the flipside, however, we are sometimes actually all too ready to say no. We say yes if it’s something to help someone else, but we’re loath to say yes if it’s to something that will take us out of our comfort zone. Starting to say yes to things that will challenge you, like a course, an adventure, or a new friendship, will really enrich your life.

Is there anything you’ve said no or yes to recently, and you’re really glad you did? Why not share your experiences in the Facebook group!

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