You are sitting calmly enjoying some down time and all of a sudden the waves of requests start to pour in. From work, friends, family and your response to each of them is “sure, I can help/would love to (fill in the blank”. Sound familiar? Let’s try a different approach. Here are 5 tips to give you some courage to say that two letter word!
You can’t help others until you help yourself: Waking up tired every morning? Feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day for self-growth? Probably because you are subconsciously doing so much to help others get ahead. It is not a bad thing to step back sometimes and do something for yourself first. You are not being selfish you are being self-loving. Start logging your daily activities and mark beside each of them that are for you and those that are for others. If you are doing more for others, then you are neglecting the most important person in your life – YOU. Only you can control how amazing YOUR life is. You have every right to pursue your dreams and stop helping others so much!
Don’t take on a task unless you can see it through: Work asking you to commit to a big project in a specific time frame? Don’t say yes off the bat and underestimate how much work it will take to complete. Be realistic with yourself and propose to add in buffer time. Not every step will go like clockwork. Don’t be afraid to tell your boss that their expected timeline isn’t feasible. Better yet, ask them to propose a way to complete it in their given timeline if there is no other choice. Ask for added support and do not take on all of the stress and responsibility.
Think about your financial goals before saying yes: Friends want to go out for dinner? Birthday celebrations? Its only $50 they say? Well $50 twice a month is $1200 taken away from an important financial goal – debt repayment, family vacation or some well needed home renovations. Don’t feel obligated to explain your financial situation to your friends and don’t feel bad about putting your personal goals above their social ones. Instead suggest home dinner nights where everyone can bring a home cooked dish and for you, your dish can be budgeted into your grocery list.
Be clear about what you want: Not everyone wants the same things in life. Do your friends or family members feel bad when they say no to you in order to fulfill their goals? Not everyone is built with the same goals and ambition. Make sure you know what you want and it will make saying no a part of the journey to get to your end goal.
Do not be a people pleaser: Hate conflict and confrontations? Feel like you owe people an explanation for why you can’t do something? Well you don’t! It is exhausting and stressful to want to manage everyone’s feelings and not your own. It will be challenging at first because everyone will think there is something wrong but it doesn’t matter! Be consistent and it will become a part of who you are and they will learn to respect your time.
“Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.”
― Stephanie Lahart
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Until next time,
Team Make It Fun NYC