Learning to Say 'No' With Confidence

(Me when I'm overwhelmed.)

Here's a confession. I have a really hard time telling people 'no'. I've always struggled with this for as long as I can remember. At my core, I want nothing more than for everyone to love me...not like me...LOVE ME. I am a people pleaser and always have been. Until last year, when I pretty much had a nervous breakdown.

Last year, I chronically overbooked myself. I double-booked. I missed deadlines. I disappointed. I had to take a step back and learn how to say 'no' because my sanity depended on it. Saying 'yes' to everything was crushing me.

So in an effort to live a less chaotic life, I decided to give 'no' a chance and let me tell you...learning how to say that little word is the best thing I've ever done for myself.

Because I now know how to say 'no', I'm a better businesswoman, I'm a better friend, I'm a better person. Saying 'no' has taught me how to prioritize. It's helped me realize what I want and need to spend time on versus what I feel obligated to spend time on.

Never saying 'no' was a drain on my energy. It took away from the projects I needed and wanted to complete. It made me half-ass a lot of stuff. It made me profoundly unhappy.

I can say 'no' now and it's brought relief and a renewed sense of focus. Your time is precious and it's yours alone. If there's one lesson I've learned, it's that you have to protect your time vehemently.

Say 'yes' to things that bring you joy and fulfillment. Say 'yes' to projects that light your fire. Say 'yes' when it aligns with your mission.

Don't say 'yes' to appease others. You aren't doing the other party or yourself any favors. Don't say 'yes' because you feel guilty. You don't owe anyone anything. Don't say 'yes' because you think it's what you're supposed to do to advance your career. Evaluate each opportunity presented to you and really ask yourself what benefits it presents.

If you struggle to say 'no' like me and if you constantly feel overwhelmed, I want you to test out the word 'no' for a month. Consciously say 'no' to things you truly don't want to do in your personal and professional life. See how it affects your daily mood, your productivity, your stress levels. Did you get to focus more on things you care about? Monitor your levels of relief and if the chaos in your life subsides. I bet you'll see a difference. Learn how to say 'no' with confidence. It's made a tremendous difference in my life.

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