“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.”Josh Billings
Many of us find it hard to say no. Why?
It could be that it makes us feel guilty, that we’re letting someone down, or that we’ll be considered selfish. We don’t want to upset others or make them feel bad. And sometimes it just seems easier to give in and say yes.
What is this costing us?
When you agree to do something despite your inner voice saying not to, you’re giving away part of yourself, your time, your self-respect, and your control.
As a result of not being able to say “no”, you end up putting your own needs behind the needs of others. Leaving you feeling less than others.
Saying yes when we really aren’t able to give a true yes means sacrificing something important. You may try to convince yourself and justify your self-sabotaging choice by telling yourself that you will make time. Time is the one thing none of us can make more of. Or we use the other tried and true tactics of people in denial, “It’s just this once, it won’t take long, it’s not a big deal, it’s for a good cause or reason.”
But it is a big deal, since every time you say yes, you’re opting to ignore what your mind, gut or even your heart is telling you.
The 7 Benefits of Saying No
- Saying yes causes stress when you really wanted to say no. This creates anxiety, increases tension in the body and results in loss of sleep as you mull over those conflicting emotions and arguments that creep into your mind when all is quiet.
- Saying no allows you to weed out those people who are toxic in your life. You know, the ones who are always wanting you to do something for them or complain when it’s their turn to be the giver. These are the complainers, the ones who duck out on responsibility, the drama addicts and the ones who take advantage of you. Toxic people can be master manipulators who use guilt to pressure you into saying you’ll do something for them. Give them a consistent no to eventually get rid of them.
- You’ll have more energy by saying no. When you take on things you don’t want to do or things that take up time you don’t have, your own energy runs out. Ultimately, you’re wasting your precious, limited resource – mental and physical energy that you could instead put toward doing things you care about and can help you advance in your own life. Say no and, leave yourself the needed energy to do the things that fulfill you, help you achieve goals, and make you happy.
- Saying no saves time. Only you can control how you use your time. When you agree to something you don’t want to do, you’re giving away that time. It’s important to use your time in a way that puts your priorities and goals first.
- Tell others no, and you’ll gain strength and confidence. Saying no lets you take control of your life. You’ll become confident and feel strong when you set boundaries. And you’ll begin to gain the respect of others for your clear and firm decisions.
- Saying yes to the people or things that are relevant to your goals helps you increase and stay focused on those goals. But when you say no to things that take you away from your own priorities, you begin to lose focus. Concentrate on achieving those things that help you grow personally and professionally. These should be activities that bring you joy and speak to you in some way, so that you may stay the course to happiness.
- Saying no means your life is more enjoyable. Saying no to things that drain you, put you in positions that cause stress or don’t interest you means you’ll have more joy, fun and peace in your life and work.
Saying no takes practice. Yet, the more you do it, the easier saying no becomes. It most likely will be uncomfortable in the beginning as you’ll feel like you’re disappointing others or letting yourself down. But your needs, your goals, your time, even what is important in your life, should come before mindlessly saying yes when you really should be saying no.