The question that has been troubling me a lot is TO SAY ‘NO’ OR TO SAY ‘YES’? What should I do?

What’s up Re-inventors!

When we are working for something, we really want to give it all of our time, right?

But unfortunately we often get requests from various people in day to day life to do some small favors or to hang out with friends or to go to a family function and what not!

All of this seems worthless when you start comparing it with your goals. I agree, spending time with friends and family is important because you build relationships by giving your time (which is the most valuable thing you can ever give to someone), BUT doing all that frequently, at the cost of your goals and dreams and aspirations is also not right, simply because you have one life, right?

Why don’t we say ‘NO’ more often?

Dr. Caryn Aviv in her TEDx talk mentions that we do not say NO more often because we WANT TO PLEASE PEOPLE. Think about it. When somebody asks us to do something, we fear saying ‘NO’ because we don’t want the other person to feel bad.

The truth is: People look for the 3A’s (affirmation, acceptance and approval) in OTHER PEOPLE and NOT INSIDE THEMSELVES.

They fear that they will not be accepted in a group if they say NO and that they may lose their friends.

BUT the reality is, if your friends cannot understand why you are saying NO (after you’ve explained them), they will always be a hindrance to your success

What happens when we say YES?

There are a couple of advantages to saying yes such as your friends will always be happy and you will maintain an image of a person who is helpful.

However, the disadvantages are that you spend your energy on trivial matters that have nothing to do with your goals in life, your energy depletes, you get frustrated and you do not achieve your goals.

It can clearly be seen that all the advantages are reaped by OTHER people whereas all the disadvantages are suffered by YOU

Why to say NO?

The above mentioned reasons are enough for anyone to realize that they should not say “Yes” too often. Moreover, what can be worse than something that depletes you energy and takes you away from the path to success?

Some of the advantages of saying no, depending upon different circumstances can be:

· Freedom

· Time to rest

· Not feeling overburdened

· Focus on your work and find more clarity

· Productivity instead of business

· Not sacrificing your authenticity and integrity by pleasing others

Here are a couple of strategies that may help you all to decide whether to say NO and HOW to say it:

1. Do not take the decision immediately:

Whenever someone comes to you for a request, do not say ‘NO’ right away because that will give an impression that you were ready to say NO regardless of the request that the person has to make.

So if possible take some time and tell the person that you will confirm him/her within a day’s time

2. Decide whether you have time and whether it will contribute to anything meaningful:

It is really upon you guys to decide what request should/should not be taken.

I cannot simply tell you to reject/accept any request because it’s all subjective.

For example, you may think that going to a networking event is not feasible because you have a lot of work to do, BUT if you feel that the event will be attended by influential people in your industry and connecting to them will help you grow, then you may decide to go.

Similarly you may not want to go out with family but if you feel that this may affect your relationship in some way, you may decide to go.

3. Communication is the key to solve all problems:

Saying NO is difficult but at the same time it is no rocket science. You just go with your gut feeling.

What you need to do is effectively and politely communicate to the person as to why you will not be able to fulfill their request. That’s it.

If you cannot fulfill the request momentarily, then you can also offer a later date as to when you will be free and willing to help.

4. Remember, you can only communicate:

The part that is controllable is what you speak and how you communicate.

You cannot control what the other person thinks of you. He/she may be sad or he/she may understand your point.

Whatever the case is, it is not in your control, so don’t stress about it so much.

If they really love you and understand who you are, then they will surely understand.

I hope that these things help you to say ‘NO’ more often so you can really focus on what’s important and chuck out the trivial matters from your life.

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