Notes in the margins

Skill to say "No"

Why do we say "yes" when we want to say "no"? Here are the main reasons:

- we don't want to disappoint people;
- we're worried about missing out on a great opportunity;
- we're afraid of rocking the boat or burning bridges;
- we want to be loved and seen as nice people;
- we want to be in demand.

And the first step to having the confidence to say "no" would be to rely on our values. If being in good physical shape is important to me, I won't sacrifice 10 minutes of jogging for another call from an annoying friend.

Often we confuse to reject with a person's attitude. Realizing that I am denying a request, and not the person per se makes it easier for me to deal with anxiety about what he or she will say about me. And then there is the right reasoning for saying no to an inappropriate request.

And we're also afraid to say "no" because we focus on what we might lose rather than gain. "I can't refuse management's request because then they'll think I'm a bad employee." Instead, think "I won't take on an impossible task because I want to spend more time with my children."

Know the value of your "yes." Included in its cost is that I keep my word, it's my responsibility, and my quality approach to getting things done. And it can't come cheap because it's very resourceful. I can't give away my "yes" left and right. Think about how much your trustworthy and bright "yes" is worth and use your currency of "strong" and trustworthy words consciously.

Of course, it's not all that easy with this ability to refuse elegantly, because we have all kinds of harmful beliefs rooted in us about dependability and constant support and indispensability and more.

If you want to gain confidence in the position of refusal, free yourself from inner contradictions and irritation at yourself, manage your productivity and resourcefulness, and feel great about choosing the answer "yes" or "no", then my coaching program of 6 sessions is just for you. You can apply here.