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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

The Power of "NO"

You are not alone if you find your self overwhelmed and buried by the endless tasks and commitments to serve others… but, how is this serving you?

Why do we feel that thoughtfully rejecting an offer to help is anyway connected with us being “unhelpful”, “selfish,” or “thoughtless”? Although, very often these are the words swimming in our head. I would venture to guess that is our own story we are telling ourselves and we have not been introspective enough to stop and assess the internal dialog we are having.

The most important thing to remember is when you say, “Yes” to something, you are saying “no” to another thing. There is always a consequence to your action although one is more immediate than the other so immediacy wins! If you are asked to take on another task at work that does not align with your passion, you are saying “no” to other opportunities that do. You are saying “no” to your family since this project may consume more time at work, you are saying “no” to exercise since this project may interfere with your workout.. and the list goes on and on. So what is the trick?

  1. Get very clear on your personal vision and who you want to be. This will be your guiding light as to how to respond. Does this activity get me closer to or support my personal mission? Decide to be accountable to your personal goals and honor your self worth.

  2. Take a moment to stop and think before answering the plea either way. Buy yourself some time. “Wow, you are so nice to think of me for that project, I would like to have some time to think about what it might entail and if aligns with the work I am doing. May I reconnect with you tomorrow at 9am?” Not only have you shown the asker that you value their time and don’t want to make a decision in haste, but you also give yourself time to evaluate and not react. Something you may regret later.

  3. Do a “gut check”, does this activity bring you joy, excitement and energy? If not, what is going on that I am considering it? Fear, obligation, avoidance? Try to spend some quiet time thinking about your fundamental beliefs and what support you need.

“In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?” – Buddha

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