How skilled are you in saying “No” to a request or opportunity? I have to admit this is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life. Perhaps you, too, have had those occasions in which you wanted to say “No,” but found “Yes” stumbling off your tongue.
We can, in fact, even do this with a smile and demeanor that conveys the notion that we’re excited about it when it’s the last thing on earth we want to do. Can we say “people pleaser?”
Interestingly enough, two of my go-to sources for growing my ministry have recently covered this issue. Jeff Walker, author of “Launch,” put out a video last week that discusses how to let go of clients and others in our lives that are not supporting our vision. And, Michael Hyatt, author of “Platform,” spoke directly to the topic of saying “No” in a recent episode of his popular podcast. (As a side point, if you want to grow any business, you need to be getting info from both of these guys on a regular basis – they are phenomenal in their approaches. Sign for their email list and receive valuable free eBooks!)
Why are we so afraid to say “No?” A big part for me is being unwilling in the past to decline a request for fear that I would disappoint the person. It’s hard to say “No” to mom, or to that friend that’s always there for you.
Personally, I love hearing “No” from someone in response to my request. Why? Because if the person says “Yes” and they really don’t want to do what I’m asking, just how well do you think that’s going to turn out? When someone tells me “No,” I thank them! What “No” does in that case is free up the energy to have the perfect person, someone who really wants to support me, step into that role. And, because the other person is not out of integrity, it actually shores up your relationship, not tear it down.
It’s just as important to be willing to say “No” to ourselves. If we plan out tomorrow the night before and stick to that schedule for the most part (unforeseen circumstances can and do come up) will be less likely to get distracted by social media or web surfing. Pre-planning will also allow us the freedom to look logistically if everything we want to accomplish is really doable!
Before you answer “Yes” next time – either to another person or yourself – take a deep breath first. Reach deep within your gut and ask, “Is this something I really want to do?” You’ll know how to answer in an instant!