Do you have difficulty saying no?
It is something I’ve struggled with.
I think many entrepreneurs struggle with it. Especially early in our businesses.
Yet saying no to the good so that you can say yes to the great is so important.
If I’m asked to do something, attend something, or provide something, my first instinct is to say yes.
To combat this instinct, I’ve had to learn to pause and consider before I commit or not.
I’ve learned to say no.
I put the request through some filters to determine if I should say yes or no to something.
When I get a request, my first filter/pass is to ask myself the following questions:
If I’m being honest, sometimes something that falls into the no category still pokes at me. When it does, I have to ask why it’s bugging me. Why won’t it simply be a no? The following questions help me identify why the request doesn’t go away, and I can then get to the no.
Do you see the power of those three questions? How often do we say yes because we fear disapproval or want approval?
The irony is that when we start saying no because we follow the above guidelines, we will find that people respect your yes when you give it.
If the request passes to the second filter, I review and put the request through my calendar.
This filter checks for capacity and availability.
Do I have the capacity to say yes? I consider my existing commitments, projects, and goals. My ideal week helps a lot with this filter.
Do I have the availability to say yes? Do I already have a commitment?
The key with this filter is that if I don’t have the capacity or the availability, I can reconsider if I’m willing to prioritize it above something else.
This means something will become a no, and this new request will become a yes. Because my word is significant to me, I do not make this change often and only in exceptional circumstances.
I know that saying no can be challenging.
But my yes’s have so much more meaning now.
What filter resonates with you the most?
Your yes means nothing if you can’t say no.Meshell Ndegeocello
Your yes means nothing if you can’t say no.
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