Saying no is easily one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Like most people, I am a people pleaser and hate to turn down an opportunity but here is one of the most important lessons I have had to learn. You have to say no to the wrong opportunities to create more time and energy for the right ones.
Each time you say no, it gets easier until finally it becomes second nature. Of course it’s important that you say no respectfully and with class.
One exercise that helps me know what to say no to is by evaluating my priorities and what’s on my plate. I am a huge believer in creating a list of all of things you need to get done and prioritizing based on the output you will receive so in other words, is it worth your time to complete the task? Ask yourself if it will continue to lead to similar opportunities or if it is a dead-end. There is only so much time in the day so choosing the right opportunities to pursue is crucial.
I received the following advice from a close mentor who told me that I should never apologize for turning down an opportunity nor feel like I have to give an explanation. All that is needed is a simple response, such as “Thank you for the opportunity but I do not feel like I have adequate time to invest what is needed to make this successful. Thanks for reaching out and I would love to keep you in mind for future opportunities.”
I encourage you to put this into practice and evaluate how it makes you feel. Every time I turn down an opportunity that just isn’t right, it always make ms feel empowered. Remember, time is precious and its up to you to guard it for the right opportunities.
Want to continue reading about this topic:
- 10 Guilt-Free Strategies for Saying No – Real Simple
- How to Learn to Say ‘No’ - TIME Magazine
- Why Saying ‘No’ Gets you Ahead – Fortune