Let’s face it, many people just seem to have difficulty in saying “no” or denying a favour asked of them. It’s a lot easier and less confrontational to say “yes” and to take on a task to keep the peace. As a result, people often find themselves trapped in the middle of nowhere because of their own rushed decision or acceptance of a job – just because they were afraid to say “no.”
Are you someone that is faced with this problem? If so, here’s 5 tips of advice to help you learn to say “no”.
1) If it doesn’t concern you – don’t worry about it.
How many times do you get drawn into a situation to try and sort it out – just because you’re there at the right time? It doesn’t really concern you and the outcome will not have any benefit to you – so do you really need to waste time getting involved?
Many people get pleasure out of intervening in other people’s business. And yes, many people have the ‘kind nature’ to do so. This is not wrong, just be aware of the implications to getting side-tracked and involved in something that doesn’t concern you. If you’re always struggling for time – use your time wisely and whatever you do, make sure you can make a positive impact.
2) Your time is precious – is the task worth your time?
We all have the same amount of time in a day but so often we ‘run of out time’ as life gets so busy and hectic. Be aware of what you are using your time for and prioritise on your tasks.
If it’s not worth your time – don’t do it!
3) If it’s not part of your natural skillset – you can say no.
We are a people that like to please and sometimes this can come at an expense of either not doing something well (which can result in reputation downfall) or feeling uncomfortable doing it. You know your capabilities and what you are able of achieving, you also know the timeframes you have around your working and personal life. If someone asks you to do a task that you’re not comfortable with or doesn’t feel natural to you – decline the tasks.
Taking on tasks that our out of our comfort zones can have a positive effect if we really want to achieve them but it can also have a damaging effect if it comes with stress and takes away time from what we should be focusing on.
4) Don’t rush – do a job properly and well.
We all have our own working patterns and timeframes of doing tasks. Some people are quicker than others, that’s just a fact of life. When you accept a job, make sure you have the knowledge and means to be able to do it well. Reputation can come down as quickly as it goes up. Be careful!
Word of mouth is a great form of advertising but if you’ve managed a task badly, this may have a negative effect on your business.
5) Give yourself permission to say no.
Our hearts sink when we’re asked to do ‘that’ task but we know that it’s so much easier and less hassle for everyone if you just get on and do it. Keep quiet, keep your head down and you’ll get the task done when you’ve stopped stressing about it! We are good at saying ‘yes’ because it’s the easiest thing to do, to keep everyone happy but is it producing the best results for you? Never saying no can have a negative affect on your life, always being the person that will do the favour for someone – but does this make you happy? Friends don’t keep score, if you say no -they’ll understand. Give yourself more time to make a decision, allow yourself to say no if it’s going to produce the best outcome.
You don’t need to feel guilty for saying no, there is courage in believing in yourself and standing up for what you want to do. Whatever you decide on, always keep in mind that there is nothing wrong in saying “no.” When in doubt, it may even be the best thing to do.
Becoming assertive and learning to discern and say no to people will build your confidence and will give you a better understanding of who you are what you are really capable of. You have so much to offer, you are a person of value and when you realise what you can and can’t do – and stick to it – you’ll be much happier and content in life.
You can apply these points in both work and personal life. If you’re starting out in business and have a lot to take on with many responsibilities, you need to think about your well-being and how to spread your time efficiently. Allowing your gut feeling to take a lead is often the best way to know if something is right. Be confident. Be effective. Be the person you want to be.