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Are Times Tough? Hone These 3 Virtues To Make You Tougher

Are Times Tough? Hone These 3 Virtues To Make You Tougher

Whether you like it or not, whether you have accepted it or not, the fact still remains that all actions have consequences. In some scenarios, the consequence may be a positive one. In others, the consequences come as a form of punishment or repercussions for careless, reckless, and ignorant behavior. Regardless of whatever the case may be, I am not here to judge or condemn. The intention of this article is to get you to focus on specific attributes that will help guide you through your toughest of times. Let me start off by admitting that I have put myself in more than my fair share of precarious positions in the past. Thankfully, I’ve been able to make it out of every single one of them alive. Now, it is my duty to share with you the 3 virtues that helped me endure my trying times. These virtues have helped me get through every single one of my bad days and will continue to get me through any rough patches I may stumble across. Hone these 3 virtues and evolve into the strongest version of yourself.

1. Patience

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage that patience is a virtue. Not only is it a virtue, it is one of the most important virtues one can possess. Especially in times of crisis. Demonstrating patience can be the difference between getting caught in the middle of the storm or seeking refuge and restrategizing until the storm blows over. Circumstances may not be ideal, they may even be catastrophic. But if you’ve already done all that you can do, the only thing left to do is to trust your survival instincts and patiently wait as the world revolves around you. Don’t rush into making decisions. Let thing’s play themselves out. When opportunity presents itself to you, seize the moment!

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2. Timing

Patience and timing go hand-in-hand with one another. By demonstrating good patience, opportunity will eventually arise. Once that opportunity does arise, it is solely your responsibility to recognize and take advantage of it. That is when timing truly becomes everything. We, as humans, should always be honing this virtue. Timing can virtually affect every aspect of your life, from relationships, to health, to work, to finances, to whatever you can name; timing impacts it. Timing is often overlooked and some embrace tardiness as almost a social norm. Let me ask you this; how trustworthy is the person that is constantly late, says or does inappropriate things at inappropriate times, or doesn’t know when to seal the deal?

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3. Confidence

Confidence is widely known as the most attractive quality one can possess. Why is that? Because confidence is believing in yourself. Confidence is trusting yourself. There is nothing more appealing than someone who believes in themselves. When you exude confidence, who’s going to doubt your abilities? Having the confidence in knowing that everything will be alright as opposed to casting doubt can literally help change the way your body performs. Studies have proven that self-confidence directly correlates with performance. Instead of worrying and doubting your abilities, remember that you’ve made it through 100% of your bad days. Know that you will be able to handle whatever is coming your way. Even if the situation is out of your control, have confidence that things will eventually work out. Have confidence in your faith. Have confidence in humanity. Regardless of what happens, don’t lose confidence. Having confidence will give you strength and courage in times where it may be lacking.

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Be The Best Version Of Yourself

Unfortunately, pain and suffering will always be a part of life. The good news is that since information is available at our fingertips, new treatments and techniques to manage pain and suffering will always surface. Honing these three virtues will not guarantee invincibility (nothing is guaranteed, except death and taxes). But when you develop and strengthen these virtues—which every human possesses– your perception will change, emotions will be easier to manage, and you will suffer less anxiety. I could almost guarantee that developing these three virtues would be life changing, but you know my stance on guarantees. Instead of taking my word for it, why don’t you try it for yourself? You have nothing to lose and the world to gain!

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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