As humans we love saying 'yes' It makes us feel good to say 'yes' It makes us feel good to be positive and agree. But often the essential approach of saying 'no' is more critical to your future success.
The word ‘no’ is inherently negative and is often accompanied by a poor choice of words resulting in a far from desirable NLP tone. As a result, its power to enforce one’s opinion, sway a conversation or impose long term pain in a professional relationship is always a very real risk when saying 'no' in any situation. However, I challenge you to start using the word ‘no’ more often.
It is often our human instinct to always want to agree and always want to please that results in the underutilisation of the word itself. I am not suggesting for a moment to turn against common courtesy or insist you to more regularly throw a cat amongst the pigeons by saying no at inappropriate times, but the harsh reality is that all of us in life say yes and agree to an excess of jobs or roles that ultimately take us away from our areas of most happiness. It is for these reasons that I encourage everyone to use the word ‘no’ more frequently. By saying 'no' more regularly you can save overcommitting yourself to that extra company, board or organisation that you feel obliged to assist with but deep down knowing you do not have the time to invest the level that you potentially could if you weren’t so busy in other areas.
By saying no, it also allows you more time with your family and friends. More time to exercise and more time to live a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly, it doesn’t leave you overcommitted. It is actually the ability to say "no" at certain times that will ensure your focus and commitment is held in the areas where you are most needed.
We all know time is very precious and that the majority of us take on too many roles, responsibilities and tasks but learning to respectfully and courteously say 'no' at appropriate times is the key to ensure you remain focused, clear with your future direction and engaged in the programs that need your most attention.
The best thing about the word ‘no’ is that it doesn’t mean forever. It simply means that it may not be the right time or the right avenue for you to pursue at the moment. And if used in an understanding, calm and respectful way, it will often leave open the opportunity to be explored again in the future when the timing is right.