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Saying “NO” Made Simple!

Written By: Dr. Shawn Haywood, Lifestyle coach

I don’t know about you, but saying NO used to be a big issue for me. For the longest time I was unable to say “no.” I was too interested in pleasing or not losing others’ approval… Yuck!

How many times have you said “yes” to something that you later (or instantly) realized you wanted to say “no” to? Life is super busy and only gets busier year by year. Especially when we consider our family, health, work and… enjoying this thing we call LIFE and LIVING.

So, why let your free time get filled up with obligations you don’t want? Especially at the expense of your health, family, rest and FREE TIME?

Example 1:Your boss (or client or colleague) wants you to stay late to work on an upcoming assignment. You say “yes.” Then, it’s a month later, and you realize you’ve had more dinners at work than you have had with your family…

Example 2:A family member asks you to watch a child, pet, house, etc. Of course, anything for family you say. Who wouldn’t offer help to family? So, you say “yes.” Then you spend the next three days wishing you had said “no.” Not because you don’t want to help, but because you need to prioritize your fitness and your partner. After all, you haven’t had a date night in weeks, maybe even months.

Example 3: At your child’s school, you’re asked to help with a bake sale (or some event or in the classroom). “Yes, I would love to help my child’s school.” Only now, you realize you’re one of the only parents who consistently say YES. And while you LOVE to be present for your little darling, it is not your job to do it all.

Why does this keep happening to you?

It really is just one magic word…NO. It is all too common that we are all guilty of saying YES, when we mean NO.

How can we take back more time?

By practicing saying “no.” Practicing and learning to say NO has totally changed my life. And it can change yours as well.

There are solutions to taking back your life and time by learning to say “no.” Below, I explain three ways to change your thinking about saying “no.” Additionally, you can follow this link to get access to some great, word for word scripts for Saying No With Style & Confidence.

#1: Set clear boundaries

There is nothing wrong with defining clear boundaries. If someone asks for a favor and you truly want to do it, say you'd like to but cannot help this time and to please ask again another time. Yet, practice making your "no" quite clear. 

#2: Be concise

No need to hesitate with your decision. If you truly do not want to do something, or don’t currently have the bandwidth, be direct and say “no” or “no thank you!” Saying “no” will not make someone dislike you, or if it does, they are not likely good for you anyway.

There are always others who can help. You will not be replaced, fired or hated for saying “no.” We must find ways to protect our time.

#3: Practice

It may seem silly to think about practicing saying NO, but I encourage you to practice looking in the mirror and saying any version of NO.  Then, you can start small if need be. Saying no can be very intimidating: I certainly remember being very afraid as I learned to say NO. Communicate with friends, family, colleagues and bosses about why you are saying no. Explain that your time is precious.

The bottom line, KNOW that you can say NO! No need to feel responsible for others, nor obligated to say yes when it is not good for you or your family. Practice exercising your inner power and courage! And head on over to the website and pick up your simple, word for word scripts to support you in practicing saying no! Saying No With Style & Confidence.

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