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The positives in saying no

If you were to google ‘the power of saying no’ you will find a plethora of self – help and guidance books based on this very topic.  A Nobel prize was even awarded back in 2002 for work based on saying no – this is not a new craze!

The word NO naturally brings with it negative connotations – but what if I were to tell you that saying “no” is easier than you think and can have completely the opposite effect on all those involved?

The recent pandemic seems to have impacted the ‘people pleaser’ and ‘yes men/women’ by altering their approach somewhat.  “Yes” is no longer the default and “No” is becoming a regular vocabulary feature whilst everyone realises how important prioritising yourself without feeling guilty truly is.

Saying “No” is your right, not a privilege (Tony Robbins) and not only protects your personal integrity but sets healthy limits and boundaries whilst also setting you free.  That small two letter word is empowering, exhilarating and ultimately makes the word YES more meaningful.

Practice saying “No”

Our ‘inner chimp’ is tested on a daily basis and generally wins the impulsive YES battle.  But in order for us to override this and take back control, we must consciously slow down.  Pause, assess the situation and then decide.  To wait is to win.  And that is exactly what the last 18 months has shown us. 

Some good workplace examples of when saying “No” is a good idea include;

  • Focussing on your own goals – if saying “Yes” means that you would need to sacrifice your own personal goals or it would have a detrimental impact on you succeeding your own goals and targets, say “No”
  • Values & Principles – If saying “Yes” goes against your personal values or principles – say “No”
  • Strength to change – If you are on a personal path of change and saying “Yes” would knock you off track – say “No”
  • Exploitation & abuse – If you know deep down you are being used or taken advantage of and someone has selfish intentions – say “No”

So, whilst YES will always be easier and the FOMO on opportunities, relationships, promotions or events may sneak in from time to time; next time you are about to say “Yes” AGAIN – take a moment, be diplomatic, courteous and honest and honour your personal integrity… with a big fat NO!

If after all of this the struggle to be heard continues, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and dial 01275 813000 for a confidential discussion.


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