Posted on 29 June, 2015

Learn How To Say No!

By Jacob Andreae in How-to, Time Management Learn How To Say No!

[Photo credit: sboneham]

I find it really hard to say ‘No’ to people. I want people to like me and I want to help. Saying no, makes me feel like I’m letting that person down. Do you find it hard to say ‘No’? Chances are you probably do. Here’s why you need to learn how to say no though.

By saying ‘No’ to something that is not important, is saying ‘Yes’ to something that is.

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For as long as I can remember, whenever someone has asked me to do something or pitched some idea to me that they believe I would love, I’ve said ‘Yes’! As I’ve gotten older, and like all of us, my life has become more and more busy with the usual commitments.

I’ve found that I have less margin in my life for taking on new projects. I learnt the hard way what it’s like to commit to things that I simply don’t have the time for. I began recognising when I should say ‘No’, but my default response due to habit was to say ‘Yes’. However, as soon as I would say ‘Yes’, I would immediately regret it.

Thanks to my fiancé, Holly, who reminds me about what is truly important, I have begun to say ‘No’ more often. It is hard to do at the time but the feeling of relief I feel immediately after, is worth it.

I already have many commitments and by saying ‘Yes’ to anything new, is jeopardising those commitments I already have. By saying ‘No’ to something that is not important, is saying ‘Yes’ to something that is.

Understanding your priorities is necessary to get the best results for your current commitments. Fulfilling your current commitments is necessary to provide the people who rely on you, with the dedication they deserve. This means you need to say ‘No’ to some things.

If you don’t get better at saying ‘No’, you risk:

  1. Taking on other people’s priorities.
  2. Devaluing and losing time for the things that really matter.
  3. Becoming stressed out, tired and run down. And for what?
  4. Not being able to say ‘Yes’ to new things in the future, which are worth saying ‘Yes’ to.

Here are some great ways to practice saying "No":

  • Getting an assistant: They can say ‘No’ for you. (I’m actually thinking about getting an assistant - how cool will that be!) However, as awesome as an assistant would be, if you aren’t in a position to get one, you can;
  • Get someone to hold you accountable: Run all requests and ideas through a significant other or family members. Talk it through with someone who you trust first and decide together.
  • Make it your default setting: Say ‘No’ to all ideas and requests in the first instance. If it comes back and is manageable, then go for it. 
  • Practice: Say ‘No’ to one thing every day.
  • Build up: After some practice saying ‘No’ to one thing a day, increase the number of times you say ‘No’ each week.

Each time you say ‘Yes’, you are actually saying ‘No’ to something else. Understand your priorities and commitments. By saying ‘No’ more often, you create the margin necessary to fulfil your responsibilities to your current commitments. Plus, you allow yourself to give 100% to those people who are currently counting on you.

How are you going at saying ‘No’? Share your response in the comments below. 

About Jacob Andreae

About Jacob Andreae

I write and speak about Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset. 

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Learn How To Say No!A quick start guide to losing weight and staying on track. Learn the strategies I use to eat and move for optimal health. Includes worksheets to enhance your motivation, commitment and discipline, along with a sample eating plan and exercise program.