How To Say No To Others: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need
I’ll admit it – I don’t like to say no. Whenever someone has a request, I’ll say yes where I can help it. Part of this is because I don’t like to leave people in the lurch. The other part comes from not wanting to disappoint others. And yet another part of me also feels saying no possibly means burning bridges with others, and I don’t want to jeopardize my relationships with others.
Hence, I say yes where I can, and say no as less often as possible.
Realities of NOT Saying No
While saying yes seems like an easy answer for the reasons above, it’s not necessary the best answer all the time.
Just like saying no has its implications, NOT saying no *has* implications too. Every time we say yes to something, we’re actually saying no to something else. Think about it:
When you say yes to something you don’t enjoy, you say no to things that you love
When you say yes to a job you don’t love, you say no to your dreams
When you say yes to someone you don’t like, you say no to a fulfilling relationship
When you say yes to working overtime, you say no to your social life
When you say yes to Quadrant 3/4 tasks, you say no to your Quadrant 2, high value activities
Many people know me today as a blogger, a coach and a trainer. I run TPEB, which has evolved into a trusted blog with over 11,000 20,000 subscribers (as of Dec ’10) in the past year. I’m pursuing my passion, to help others grow and be their best self. I leverage on whichever mediums appropriate to help others grow, be it writing books, 1-1 coaching, blogging, training, and in the future, possibly my talk show and more. I really love my life and I’m happiest than I’ve ever been. Each day I experience a new level of joy that I’ve not felt before.
Yet, I did not start out like this in the
beginning. The very reason why I’m here today is because I said no to many things along the way, things which did not support my dreams:
I said no to my previous career in brand management and my ex-company. I loved the job, I loved the people, I loved the environment, I loved the company. The money was great; the prospects were great too. But I love my passion more. I love helping others to grow. I love pursuing my purpose in life. So I said no to it in 2008. I quit my full-time job and started to pursue my passion from ground zero, starting with this blog.
I said no to friendships which were holding me back. I love the people around me more than they know, so much so that if there comes a point where the friendship is no longer compatible for us, perhaps it’s time to walk our paths and pursue our individual life journeys. There’s no reason why either of us should hold each other back. I parted ways with my best friend of 10 years, K, over a year ago, and we’ve since been happier, moving forward in our lives in ways we couldn’t previously.
I said no to many unimportant activities. If something doesn’t have a purpose to it, and seems like a waste of time, I don’t participate in it. I value my time a lot and I only want to spend it on things I love. That’s what it means to live life to the fullest, via maximizing every moment we have, doing things we love, and things which are important to us.
I said no many business opportunities, some of which were very lucrative. Why do I say no then? Because they are not in alignment with my personal vision for my life’s work. If it’s not going to lead me to my end goal, I’d rather invest my energy and time into a place that does.