The flip side of my previous post about saying “yes” is how to say “no”, and also importantly – when.
The other word we, as women, are prone to using to our disadvantage is “yes”. I know this might sound like a contradiction in light of my previous post encouraging the use of “yes” but…
We say yes to SO many things for the wrong reason. We say “yes” because we want to be liked…we say yes because we are scared to say no…we say yes because we want approval… we want to prove over and over that we are a nice person, really we are…
But what we often say yes to is a whole bunch of things that leave us busy, tired, depleted and resentful.
If we DO say no we tend to go into a whole raft of reasons and excuses as to why – “I’m sorry I cant do that because and then come all the reasons and excuses… “I’m sorry I can’t do that because I’m taking our pet dragon to its first training class and then I have to collect my son from space cadets, otherwise I’d be happy to” Yeah? Oh, please!
So we have to learn to say no – and we have to start doing it – nicely, politely, firmly.
And the best way, to quote Shonda Rhimes? ” I’m sorry, no, I am not able to do that…” and that is all I say. It is really hard to say that to people. It is very interesting how wired we are to tell somebody a thousand reasons why we can’t do something for them. I lost some friends over the course of the year…I shed some pounds, I shed some friends. It was painful, but it was also really freeing.
It takes practice. It goes against the grain. But…it frees your time up for the things you want to do, that you haven’t got time for now. It frees your energy up to more more authentic – there is no bigger prize.
And Oprah has this to say on the matter – Make a list of five things you’d like to say no to. Start by thinking about these questions. “If you could say no to someone or something, knowing that there would be absolutely no hard feelings or negative consequences, who or what would you say no to? Is there a project you would give up? A relationship you would end? A date you might break?”
In fact you can hear Shonda and Oprah talking about this right here
I’d love to hear how you get on with this, do let me know
PS if you haven’t already then do check out my previous post “Start Saying Yes”... and opening up the opportunities in your life