6 reasons you think you should say ‘Yes’, but you shouldn’t

You might have heard this before, infact, I had told this myself, learn to say No. This was an advise I got back in 2009 from one of my mentors when I was on a spree to try & do everything I could lay my hand on. Ofcourse it took me years to actually understand what it is. But now, I’m reasonably good at it. I can say No. (On the flipside, my ‘No’s are quite harsh and on the face. I hope it won’t be years before I learn to say it otherwise). Saying No in a ‘beautiful’ way is quite difficult. But if you are a professional, building your career, then you had to learn this yesterday.

  1. What would she/he think about me?

Are you living for yourself or for others? I love this saying ‘People say, what they say, let them say’. You cannot make everyone love you. If everyone likes what you are doing, either you are doing something wrong or you aren’t doing anything.

As long as you are sure of what you are saying, have the guts to back yourself up and say NO.

2. I’m not sure. So let me say ‘Yes’.

No. Any Yes/No is a decision making. It is said that most of the decisions we take in our life are being taken with 70% clarity. So, very few decisions making junctures will give you the liberty of knowing everything and being sure. This means -if you start saying ‘Yes’ when you aren’t sure, then you will end up saying far too many ‘Yes’ than you should.

3. They said ‘Yes’ — The Herd Mentality

Peer pressure is another reason. We have an inertia not to go against the stream. But remember, the people who took the same road ended up at the same destination. If it is a different end goal you have, then you gotto take a different path. Diversions of paths comes as choices in front of you. Don’t take Yes (or No for that matter) just because others did.

4. She said Yes- ‘She knows something I don’t’

This is a case where you think others are smarter than you. You think she said ‘Yes’. But you don’t know; after saying ‘Yes’, she is really worried whether she made the right decision. Mostly people say Yes because of some other reason and not necessarily because they are more informed. So don’t mimic anyone thinking they are smarter.

5. This won’t take a lot of time for me — so let me say Yes.

I have seen that people (including me) are pretty bad at estimation. We think that we will finish off the work in no time. This is hardly the case. We see the tip of the iceberg, but when we dive into the details, we will see that our estimation was wrong.

6. I don’t have anything else to do.

Bad decision. There might be more enriching, learning experiences that you can gather in the same time. By taking some random task, just because you have time, you might be rolling away from a better experience for you.

There is only one reason for saying Yes; when you are absolutely sure that it is the right thing to do. Don’t say Yes for any other reason. By simply following this as a decisions making framework, I hope you will be better at saying No.

Cheers! :)