So, I received a call the other day to teach a weekly course (4 hours a week) on entrepreneurship and mentoring… for free. Everything I do, by the way, be it giving sales and marketing seminars in October, to the stuff I describe below, I do it all for free. Cuz I love it.
The old me; “Of course I’ll do it.”
The new me, “No thank you. Not right now.”
I always volunteer. I’m a serial volunteer. I do it because this community supported me many years back when I started my own business. And, I truly believe in giving back. I do. I help out whenever I can. I run to a ton of meetings. I mentor a group of individuals each month who are trying to collectively get a business off the ground. I leave my kids at supper time and homework time to do this, because I believe in charity and I love business. I mentor another woman in my community starting an online business. Besides being on the board of director’s for my son’s school, I just started the school’s marketing committee. I love this stuff. I come alive for this stuff. But, becoming a human pretzel is just not where I’m at these days. I have reached my threshold, my saturation point. And I know it. I’m starting to get short-tempered. I’m starting to lose it. We all know our breaking points, or at least we think we do. It’s that last thing we agree to take on, that is going to make us collapse like a house of cards.
So, I decided my new motto is, “not right now.” And it’s a skill, I tell you. It doesn’t feel great to say no. Our egos are attached to the yes, and so saying no, and letting go is difficult. It’s definitely a process I’m getting better at.
And when I say, “no thank you right now is, ” it doesn’t mean I won’t be interested in a couple of weeks, months, or next year. It means for today. And when I keep the door open, I feel good about that. I read somewhere once that “SAYING NO TO SOMEONE, IS SAYING YES TO YOURSELF.” Just let that soak in. It’s really true. Saying no to someone else, means saying yes to yourself. It means freeing yourself up to do more of the things you love… read a book, go for a walk, take a painting class. Whatever.
As working women, as single moms, as wives, as friends, we’re asked and pulled every day in a thousand directions.”Do you think you can do my carpool?” or “Do you think you can stay late tonight at the office to get some extra filing done?” and “Do you think you can just drop off my dry cleaning?” I’m not saying we all don’t have responsibilities we are unable to escape in our daily lives. All I’m saying is, if you feel like your plate is full, it ain’t the time to pack more on it. And saying no takes practice. Saying no to friends, no to husbands, no to charities, no to someone asking you for a loan, no to a bothersome person, no to an incredible opportunity because now just may not be the ideal time for you.
So, if you feel you’re becoming the human pretzel, just a word of advice. (Now I would like to reiterate, I am not saying you should be selfish and never help people out. However, it’s just that many of us are running around stressed out because we’re saying yes to everyone).
- We have all been turned down in our lives. Johnny couldn’t come to our son’s birthday party, you were denied a favor, someone didn’t reciprocate your crush, it’s a part of life. So, did you die from it? Of course you survived it! Don’t assume you’re going to inflict serious harm by saying no to someone.
- Learn to accept no from those you love as well. “No’s” are a part of everyone’s life. Take it all in stride. If you do, you’ll be more easily able to say no to others, which means YES to yourself.
- Stop being a pleaser. Saying no without any guilt is very common, but say it when you need to say it. To your children, to your spouse, to your boyfriend, to your boss. What’s your human pretzel threshold? Are you there yet?
- Don’t instinctively say yes. Think it out first. It’s okay to not answer on the spot. How about something like, “can I think it over and get back to you?” If anything, you sound mature, professional, and if it really ends up being no, the “no” will sound like a better no. And may I also note, you don’t have to be rude when you say no either. You should say it politely, thank you very much!
- Saying no truly does come with confidence. The more confident you are in your abilities, the easier time you will have to say no to people. Sorry, but it’s the truth.
- And finally, if you do say yes, and then you feel resentment, it means you SHOULD HAVE SAID NO!
So, say NO, and let it be guilt free… except in sex… I say “go for it!”
Oh ya, and by the way, I’m not a night person. So, if the new blogs are not posted at night for early morning viewing, please cut me some slack. I’m learning to say no. Postings will be every day to every second day. I’m aiming for daily! I thank you kindly for reading. I’m writing for you!