No, saying ‘no’ isn’t necessarily rude or reflective of a lackadaisical attitude. Said for the right reasons and in the right way, it has the power to set us free, make us more productive, keep our promises better and take away a lot of unnecessary stress. Most of the successful people in this world have mastered the art of replying in the negative. They have thus become able to make the most of their life and strike a nice balance between their personal and professional lives.
Why would you like to inculcate it in your life? Well, if you would like to be stress-free, make the most of the 24 hours you have in a day and enjoy your personal life as well as professional achievements before it is too late, then you should. If you want to enjoy your success and be geared up to achieve more, then you should. In the first of this 2-part series, we will explore the benefits of learning to say ‘no’, prioritize, and creating boundaries that are respected.
Benefits of Learning to Say NO
Peace of mind:
Defining our priorities and learning to say ‘no’ depending on the time available, helps maintain peace of mind. Peace of mind not only in terms of the assurance of being able to meet timelines, but also of delivering quality and leisure enough to think creatively while doing the work. It helps manage time better and honor both professional and personal commitments. Saying no to things that don’t add to productivity or personal growth, helps keep aside more time for accomplishing things that are important. The result – less stress, less frustration and more time for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Saying ‘no’ doesn’t always mean that you do not want to put in the effort, you are afraid of hard work or that you are unsocial. It simply means that you prefer to honor the promises made properly and do not believe in saying yes just to seem polite or not hurt others’ feelings. You are a person of your words and commitment means something to you, you are reliable. Reliable – it might seem a bit ironical when people can never be sure whether you would agree to their offer/proposal or not. But, reliable in terms that when you have committed to something, people can be sure of timely delivery of your best effort. In the end and also in the long run, this is the quality that people prefer in anyone’s reputation.
Improved personal and professional quality of life:
Defining and sticking to time allotted for professional as well as personal commitments requires your ability to say no. Taking up more work than you have time for or making personal commitments that eat into work time is in no way good for your quality of life. Leaving you feel drained off and yet unsuccessful by the end of the day, over-commitment can adversely affect how you enjoy life.
Though it’s sometimes impossible to say no in a professional situation, especially if you are working in a corporate environment, yet boundaries can be created gradually over a period of time. It just takes willingness, tact, perseverance and patience. This way you get more time to do things and be with people you really want to. Else, others’ priorities will always eclipse yours. In the long run, it will help you meet your promises better and add to your career growth as well as personal relations.
Well-defined boundaries and improved self-worth:
Saying no to participate in negative situations and with toxic people, though may be a bit tough in the beginning, will eventually add to your self-worth and emotional well-being. You need to learn how to say no properly to set boundaries that people are expected to respect whether in personal or professional life. You have to respect yourself and your time before others can start doing so. When people start respecting your boundaries, the sense of self-worth automatically escalates. Better self-worth in its turn definitely translates to more confidence and higher quality delivery of professional commitments.
Success follows when you have the peace of mind to enjoy what you do. Doing what you love can soon become a chore if overwhelmed with commitments more than you have time for. Not only does the quality of work gets affected but so does your quality of life. These may seem like initial hiccups, but if you do not set your boundaries and start saying ‘no’ at the right moment, it could unravel all your hard work, plans and dreams. As someone very rightly said that the surefire way to failure is trying to please everyone all the time. Learning to say no is a business skill that though not in the same league as hard work, is an essential ingredient for success.
When you start feeling overwhelmed with commitments, whether personal or professional, you know you have to develop this skill of saying no for your mental and physical well-being as well as professional success. In the next part of this series, we will explore how to say no the right way. It is ultimately the tool that will make life happier and more enjoyable.
So, do you wield the power of saying ‘no’ to maintain the quality of your life? What have been your biggest hurdles in this journey?
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