Please know that you absolutely, without a doubt, have the RIGHT to say no to others.
Whatever distracts you or takes you away from your vision, your work, your creativity, or your energy, means that you have the RIGHT TO SAY NO.
You also have the right to give people a delayed response…you can THINK about it. You don’t have to respond right away. Even though everything is seemingly urgent and everyone wants your attention and your “yes” answers right now, You. Can. Think. About. It. Got it?
We’re also allowed to change our minds. We may have said “yes” to someone or something last week, but now we’re saying “no.” And that’s O.K.
Don’t get bogged down with the idea that all your opinions or behaviors should be 100% consistent. Change is good, change is growth. What may have worked for you before simply doesn’t anymore, and again, that’s O.K.
If you continue saying “yes” to everyone else’s demands then people will EXPECT you to keep saying “yes,” and that expectation will eventually kill you. Keep on saying yes to everyone else, and you’ll find yourself DEPLETED at the end of day having said no to yourself, your needs and your career all day long.
Also, do NOT give a 2 minute preamble about why you can’t help out, there’s no need to justify or explain your response in excruciating details. No is a complete sentence. I mean, you don’t want to sound like an asshole, just be polite, but firm. Soon enough people will learn that your time is valued, your energies are finite, your money is limited –and they’ll look elsewhere. You meanwhile, will have a shitload more time, energy and resources to devote to YOU.
Just remember, every time you say yes to someone else, you’re saying no to yourself, so ask yourself, is it worth it?
Learning to say NO more often will get you 3 things:
Our inability (or at least our aversion) to saying no to others stems from our people-pleasing tendencies, our desire to be nice, to be liked, to be the emotional care-giver and nurturer for the whole office, family and circle of friends and neighbors. It also stems from our perfectionist tendencies, where we think we can do it all, solve it all, delegate to no one and handle it all perfectly ourselves. Well, guess what? That shit doesn’t work.
If you still need permission to put yourself first, take care of yourself, think about yourself first, and put your CAREER first, then let me give you all the permission you need:
PUT YOURSELF FIRST! –PUT YOUR CAREER FIRST.
Boundaries girl, boundaries.
And if you need another visual:
(see the next post for “HOW” to say no to others).