say no

The Value of Saying “No”


Honoring yourself is the most important thing. It’s true that sometimes saying “no” will hurt someone else’s feelings. You may even disappoint someone you admire. But you are also fostering resentment and regret when you don’t honor yourself and your needs.

Out of guilt or fear of confrontation, we take on more projects, invest in someone else’s priorities.  In the process, we dissipate our most valuable personal resources like time, energy, and money and on things that aren’t important to us. Each time we agree to something without enthusiasm for interest, we waste a little more of these precious resources.

Consciously ask yourself, “Do I really want to do this?” If the answer isn’t clear, you may want to consider writing about it as a way to think it through. Or if it is a complex choice, talk it over with someone you trust. When you make it a habit to say yes without thinking, it takes some time and active work to relearn how to hear that inner voice that tells you whether or not you truly want something.

There is no way around it, if you are going to increase your results and turnover, you have no choice but to say no to the tasks, requests, and human brain-pickers that do not have any return on your investment. You will need to learn to focus your time, resources, energy on people, projects, and clients that give you a high return on your investment. Otherwise, you really risk living a life of putting all your effort into various things that produce almost no worthwhile results.

It helps to understand your own long-term goals first. This way, you can say yes to opportunities that most reflect your values. Second, try to build free time in your schedule so there’s room for new, interesting opportunities you might otherwise overlook.

The skill of learning to say no is as important as the capacity to say yes to the right projects, people, and clients. Don’t be afraid to value yourself and your resources, saying no is a vital part of growing as a person, so embrace the power of no as soon as you can.




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