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Why Saying No Ain’t Selfish: The Art Of Saying No More Often

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Why Saying No Ain’t Selfish: The Art Of Saying No More Often

All through life, I’m ingrained with the pursuit to always be giving and be the helping hand. I comply, and always are ready to resolve issues for many. And it feels great to be able to be all serving. I am special and important in my circles. I have solutions for any problem. ‘Thank you’s’ echo continuously and many reflect how they would just not have been able to achieve without me. Words that affirm my worth and value.

Around the same time, many are laying out their current misfortunes and problems at my feet, in the perceived notion is that I will be always available to help out. But actually I have more goals ahead for my writing career that I truly desire. I need to balance my time and energy for others, while hoping to do more what I truly want to do.

Eventually, it starts to chain me down. The realization first hit me after I had left the motions of nine to five circles of life, out of the comfort zones of settling bills and filling the fridge each month. My personal productivity is down sliding and slipping out of my warm helping hands!

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Saying “No” Is Not Selfish, It’s Reality

Successful entrepreneurs are aware that their biggest downfalls are not saying ‘no’. Bypassing everyday urgencies and focusing on important issues starts with a simple skill and a small change by learning how to say’ no’

Everyday life is engorged with deadlines, family responsibilities, and social engagements, time ticks away. That is why learning how to say no regularly may just be the ultimate solution. Appreciate yourself and your own time. You need to realign, restore and recalibrate you. Many times,we sacrifice ourselves to please others.

Experience has thought me the crown of success cannot always come with being on standby emotionally and physically for all in need, as I will need fuel to spread my wings to the next mission on hand. This is not mean or selfish, it is a reality. Your personal goals are the priority and by time and energy to accomplish others goals instead of others your own you hinder your own growth.

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If you are unhappy and grumpy as your valuable time ticks away and opportunities bounce away, you become less of a commodity and your self-worth diminishes. You feel exhausted and inadequate. By focusing on ‘you’, success, motivation, and happiness will allow you to pass those features on to others.

Learn the Difference Between “I Can’t ” And “I Don’t “

Saying no is never easy, but envision it as an opportunity for you to let go. Many are in fear of appearing to be rude and do not want to let other people down that can sprout out in conflicts and bridges that might be burned. These are misconceptions as it is all about the manner the ‘no’ is delivered in, it is about value and respect for your space and for your time.

Heidi Grant Halvorson[1], the director at the Columbia University Motivation Science Center, noted the difference between the term “I don’t”  in comparison to I can’t. ‘

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“I can’t ” becomes a psychological draining method to say no, while ” I don’t ”  is psychologically empowering.

Researchers at the University of Houston[2] found volunteers who used the  “I don’t skip exercise” instead of saying  “I can’t skip exercise” dedicated more time to personal workouts. When you say ” I can’t “, it implies that you are not able to do it even if you might want to engage in something. It implies that you could if the circumstances differed. When you say ” I don’t “, you affirm that you have set a rule and there can be no debate about your decision. “I don’t ” is self-affirmation of personal willpower and will have a positive influence on self-empowerment.

These are not just phrases or words.They affirm your beliefs and serve as reminders of your plans and reasons why you do what you do. Become an architect of the words you choose when saying no.

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Say No with Authenticity and Respect

When someone we are close that need help, we immediately agree and many times are not realistic about the time commitments. This will lead to frustration, burnout, and resentment, and will be a misfortune. When you are uninterested, focus on being authentic and not just adhere to trying to maintain ‘likeability’. By saying no, you are actually giving out the power of self-reliance. If you are not ready to help the person out, they will find a way to sort out the issue themselves. Learning comes from finding a solution. Try to say these:

  • I am engaged with something else now and this is not a good time. We can see if it is possible at a later stage.
  • I will consider it and  let you know
  • I will not be the best person who can achieve this, I recommend…
  • I cannot commit to anything else right now as my priorities are set in for the moment

Let Go. You Can’t Please Everyone.

There will be people that oust you for saying no. Let go. Your true connections will understand your standpoint. You cannot please everyone. You have to help yourself and build positive energy and once you have achieved that, then, the energy can be shared. However, this is not possible if you are always trying to help others and leaving no spare time for yourself. This will not result in a positive outcome for you or the person you are attempting to help.

Practice saying no. Make it a mindful exercise. You will feel guilty initially but once you acknowledge the feeling and address the matter with respect to the other person, you will soon be conscious of the power of ‘no’. You always have a choice and if the matter at hand does not ignite your spirit, do not do it. Start spending moments to do what you want and lesser time drowning in what you do not want.

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Featured photo credit: Tree trunk : Just say No via pixabay.com

Reference

[1] I Don’t” versus “I Can’t”: When Empowered Refusal Motivates Goal-Directed Behavior, JSTOR
[2] “I Don’t” versus “I Can’t”:
When Empowered Refusal Motivates Goal-Directed Behavior, Research Paper

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