Just Say "No"
Many years ago in my old life in advertising, a colleague and I were asked to give a presentation to a group of graduates – our top tips for surviving in the industry (probably not the exact title). Most of our advice was similar; be organised, be curious etc, but I still remember the piece of advice we had that differed – my colleague advised “say yes to everything” whereas I advised “say no more often”.
(We may have benefitted from sharing our presentations beforehand!)
To this day, I still advocate saying “no” to things that don’t feel right, that we don’t have time for, or that don’t benefit ourselves or others (if we’re feeling altruistic). Only this week did I say no to an opportunity which, on paper, may have suited me or been beneficial. But something about it didn’t feel right and when I explored it I realised it was because it went against my values and principles. Our values are core to who we are and when we don’t uphold these we can feel diminished and thrown off balance.
So, why is it good to say “no”? Why did I give that advice?
o Prevents us taking on too much and becoming overwhelmed
o Allows us to explore our boundaries, what they are and how far we’re willing to push them
o Allows us to stick to our boundaries!
o Builds our confidence
o Keeps our values in place
o Makes us strong
o Stops us being taken advantage of
o Ultimately, we feel more in control
Saying “no” doesn’t mean we can’t take risks – because we all need to be pushed out of our comfort zone every now and again. But if we say “no” the things then we have a clearer head to make sure that the opportunities we say “yes” to are the right ones and that we get the most out of them.
Remember, saying “no” doesn’t make us lesser than, or weak, it makes us STRONG.