The Art of Saying No
As busy working moms, we work are to make sure those around us are taken care of. However the reality is – even us Moms cannot do it all.
We are busy and the demands of life are growing each day. It is nearly impossible to keep up. Especially when it comes to running a successful business and keeping sanity on the home front.
So, what do we do?
One of the greatest secrets to success is in learning how to say No.
As a coach and speaker, I work with people on this all day long. I learned the power of the word NO when I hit a wall; I was over-worked, tired and did not have time for the important things in my life. In fact, I didn’t have a life at all. I burned out and unhealthy. I was so focused on being there for everyone, that I was not there for me. And it all started to crumble.
I had to learn to say No.
Here are some strategies that helped me to learn the Power in saying NO:
Ask yourself 2 questions
We have to acknowledge that when we say YES to one thing, we are then also saying NO to another. We have to start to look at time as an investment, both to ourselves as well as to our work.
When an opportunity arises, I ask 2 questions:Does doing this make good business sense? And If I agree to do this, what will I have to say No to?
If the choice does not help me and support my business goals, or if what I need to give up doing doesn’t work for me – I say NO. End of story.
It can be hard to make decisions on our own. So many ideas sound GREAT. If I have an idea or an opportunity and have difficulty knowing if I should go forward or pass, I go to my Brain Trust. This group is my center and keep me focused. They ask me questions and help me look at the opportunity from all angles. Sometimes they just laugh and shake their heads at me because we all know the right answer.
Choose the people in this group carefully. They do not need to be your best friend or significant other. They are there to help you and protect you from yourself. Look for people who are:
- Honest and not afraid to be honest with you
- Are clear on YOUR goals
- Push you
- Come from a place of Love
There is only so much time in the day. You need to start being honest, not only about what you want to do, but what you NEED to do. What is the highest and BEST use of your time? And only do those things.
Business owner and Speaker, Christie Wright has said – an honest NO is better than a dishonest YES. You must be honest with people.
We live in fear of saying NO. We worry we will hurt feelings, lose business or miss out on something. So, we agree to do things that really are not in our best interest and then we build resentment and resistance.
Lesson – be honest about what you can do. Others will appreciate your honesty, and it may even empower them to do the same in their world.
Plan your time and Create Flexibility
Create a game plan to make sure you are set up the correctly and with the right intentions for your time. Life, however happens. Even the best laid plans can fall apart.
Have a Plan B – time blocked in your schedule to handle the unexpected.
It doesn’t need to be a long time – just a place holder. When you have that time available, it will reduce stress and keep you focused on where you need to be.
Tell them what you CAN do
In saying NO our focus goes to a place of negativity. We see it at as a dis-service to others. One strategy is to focus on what you CAN do. Most of us have a need to help and connect, and we want to honor that. You may not be able to do what they are asking…but you may be able to do something.
Tell them what you CAN do:
- Maybe you can meet with them at a different time
- Can you refer them to someone else?
- Can you give them some tips to help them locate the information they need?
You can still be of service to them even if you do not do it yourself.
Saying No is one of the BEST things you can do for yourself. It will put you in control of your time, your business and your life.
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