If you want to take back control of your life and calendar then this message is definitely for you. If you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day because you keep giving it to others then keep reading. We have all been stuck in situations where we have said “yes” when we really should have said “no.” When we are pursuing our dreams and goals our greatest commodity is time. Time also will be our most demanded commodity. Becoming confident in saying “no” can be the most healthily habit we form.
So how do we say “no” to others without feeling guilty and what are the principles that can help reinforce our confidence in our decision?
Let’s jump into the practices and principles to saying “no.”
Practice #1: Saying “No” Is Saying “Yes”
Now I know that the statement above is incomplete but the practice stands true. When you say “no” to one opportunity, you’re saying “yes” to another. When you say “no” to one person, you’re saying “yes” to someone else.
In 2008, Warren Buffett was named the wealthiest person in the world. In 2015, he was named the third wealthiest person in the world. Each year is a battle for number one. Buffett is known for being CEO, chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, which has an approximate price of $200,000/stock. He stated, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
I love this statement because if Warren Buffet said no to “everything” he wouldn’t be anywhere in his life. What he’s really saying is, “say no to what everyone is asking you to do and only say yes to the things you want and plan to do.” Now although that can seem extremely selfish I believe that if you want to make a difference on the earth you have to know what will bring the greatest value out of your time and relationships.
If I said yes to every opportunity to travel, speak or hang out I would never have a minute with my wife and daughters. You have to prioritize your life around what matters most to you and not feel guilty or bad about choosing the more important activities and people in your life.
Principle #1 – Prioritize your decisions around what matters most to you. When saying “no” to something less important you’re saying “yes” to something more important.
Practice #2: Stop Apologizing
Have you ever noticed how much you apologize to appease the feelings of others? Most of the time we’re not even sorry and we don’t need to be. When we say “no” were not doing anything wrong, were simply honoring our priorities. So why do we keep apologizing?
One of the main reasons is that we want to please others. But instead we need to change our position to being honest with others. I have noticed one thing. Be honest with the people you have to say no to about your priorities. The ones that matter won’t care and the ones who care don’t matter. You will constantly be in a defensive position in life if you lie and act sorry for something that you’re not.
Can you imagine driving your car constantly on the defense? It would take forever to get to your destination. What about spending all your time as a football coach prepping your team on defense and expecting to win games? It wouldn’t happen. That’s how most of us act in life. We want to get somewhere but we keep making apologies for the requests and the demands of others. We expect to win but just can’t on defence.
Principle #2 – Remember, think before you talk and don’t apologize for what you’re happy about. People sincerely appreciate honesty and if they don’t it’s not your responsibility to satisfy their demands. You never need to apologize to those disapproving your priorities of taking care of yourself, your family and your livelihood.
Practice #3: Living & Loving Boundaries
While I was growing up one of my biggest struggles were boundaries. I had trouble with creating healthy boundaries for myself and others that helped develop healthier relationships. It’s always been hard for me to say “no.” I hate disappointing people when it’s in my power not to and so I’ve felt like much of my life has revolved around pleasing others.
I’ve had a few huge wake-up calls in my life when I realized that in order to fulfill my dreams I would possibly have to disappoint a few people in my life. It was never my intent to but I knew that I also couldn’t control the outcome of other people’s beliefs about me. Now more than ever I am the captain of my ship in life. The simple joy that is in my life because I choose to live out boundaries in my relationships have been one of the keys that has opened up the most healthy doors of opportunity to live out better relationships.
Principle #3 – Is there anyone in your life you have unstable boundaries with? Is it your mom, dad, brother or sisters, a family or friend, your boss or job? Maybe it’s a mom coming over your house unexpected and too often. You might need to place a boundary that she text you and see if you’re available and if you’re not then she can’t come over. Your boss might constantly be asking you to work on holidays or nights and weekends and there are certain “family” days that are a priority, so you need to speak with your boss and come to a resolution on your boundaries. This principle needs to be implemented into your daily life if you want to have healthy relationships and a healthy life.
Remember you are in control of your life and have the ability to say “no” to whatever you would like to. Don’t allow others to dictate how you spend your time. You owe it to yourself and others to be honest with them about how you’re feeling about your priorities. Also, remember that when you say “no” to something you’re also saying “yes” to something more important to you. Lastly, don’t forget that you can’t count on others to create healthy boundaries for your relationships. That’s up to you and you won’t regret it after you begin to walk out that journey in your relationships.
Does anything encourage you in this blog? How can you implement these practices in your life? Please share your thoughts below.
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