Many people struggle with saying no for a number of reasons.
Thinking you have no choice, wanting to please others, or fearing you’ll be seen as uncooperative are among the many reasons you may feel uncomfortable saying no.
So instead you say yes. But you regret it.
Saying yes when you need to say no isn’t without consequence. Not setting or honoring you own boundaries results in stress and burnout.
This week alone, here are some examples my clients shared and the negative impact:
- Urgent Email requests/messages that forced immediate action and priority shifts
- Useless meetings that resulted in frantic prep, wasted time, and/or resulted in more work
- Drop Ins that resulted in distraction and annoyance due to lack of time/ability to engage
- Project scope creep due to boss or others wanting new features without realizing the downstream impact
- Client requests resulting in over-commitment in time and resources that negatively affected balance
Saying no takes courage. You have to be willing to stand up for yourself without feeling guilty.
The good news is that you can learn how to say no with respect. With practice, you can become a pro at this powerful skill!
While it’s true that others will often try to play on your emotions to get you to agree to something, much of your stress is due to your own inability to set boundaries around the types of activities and relationships you engage in each day.
Although you’re likely surrounded by intelligent and educated people, their degree is not in how to fulfill your expectations. You have to teach people how to treat you by setting and honoring your own boundaries.
As a leader, you also have to model the types of behaviors that you expect to see in your own team.
Your energy is a valuable resource! The tricky part is knowing both what drags you down and what boosts your energy and being aware of how that affects you.
How do you currently spend your time/energy?
If you’ve never analyzed your daily routine, you should. You may find that you are reacting to crises and wasting more time than you think.
What activities do you participate in and how do those make you feel?
When you engage in activities you don’t enjoy or that are not your area of expertise it can be exhausting and frustrating. Focus on eliminating things that drag you down. Find ways to do more of what inspires you (your genius work).
What are you tolerating?
Are there people or situations you’re dealing with that need to change? Clearly articulate your needs and boundaries.
To be optimally engaged and productive, you have to learn to say no to anything—both draining activities and relationships—that is not aligned with your ideal vision.
How can you proactively plan your activities?
Start with the end in mind to plan out your day. Setting your priorities and sticking to your boundaries will help you get more done with less stress.
What can you let go of or delegate to others?
You can’t do it all and that’s ok! If tasks are frustrating or you’re burned out, consider giving them to another team member who enjoys those things. It’s a win-win.
What new rules can you set for yourself to better manage your time/energy?
Setting new rules for yourself (and sticking to them) will help you preserve energy and balance in your life.
Saying no to what you don’t want gets you closer to what you want most in your life.
This powerful 2-letter word is nothing to fear. Don’t feel guilty for standing strong for yourself and your team.
Saying no helps you eliminate distractions and increase your productivity. People will respect you for having boundaries and a clear vision.
In fact, when you learn how to effectively communicate your needs, challenges, or deadlines it is very liberating. It shows you’re in control of your own time and energy.
Plus, it feels good.
If you’re interested in setting clear boundaries to better engage yourself and those you lead, schedule a Complimentary Discovery Call with me to discuss your current challenges and to get clear on what your next steps may be.
You can also download my free gift, “The Rule-Breaker’s Guide to Managing Your Energy at Work” to begin taking back control of your energy and success!