Learning to say no

by Zena-Marie on 20 February 2012

Now the reason you had so many commitments in the first place is because when someone asked for your time you said yes. To ensure that you’re newly freed schedule is not simply refilled with a fresh array of non-essential commitments it is important that we learn to say no to any request that does not enhance or add value to our life’s goals and priorities. Of course if a commitment is in line with our life’s priorities then we should say yes but those requests that do not will just add to our load and take up time and energy that could be spent doing more fabulous things.

Many people feel uncomfortable saying no, especially if it is to a simple request from a friend or family but remember you time is limited and precious. Most people only have a couple of hour’s free time a day. Your life is measured in time so think of each non-essential task as giving up a part of your life. Some people may consider this selfish but I honestly believe that it is important to consider your own needs above those of other people. You know on aeroplanes when they go through the safety plan and they tell you to put your own life mask on before attempting to help others? Well this is because you need to be in a good place yourself before you can be of any help to those around you. Giving up all your time for the benefit of others will leave you in a position that you don’t have time or energy to spend on the thing in life that would bring you most joy.

When learning to say no you should first recognise all requests for your time for what they are and remember that your time is limited and you’re most valuable commodity. Ask yourself does this request add value to your life is it in line with your life’s goals or priorities. Be honest with people apologise and let them know you are cutting back on your commitments because you are simply too busy. Most people will be respectful of your choice. Be firm when you say no don’t leave the impression that you could change your mind otherwise you may end up being pestered and don’t feel guilty, people will always find someone else to help out. Remember no worthy project ever failed because one person said no.

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