Our ability to say “No” is an often forgotten but crucial step in enhancing the effective usage of our time.
During a recent workshop I had conducted on Time Management, its discussion was received with a lot of thoughtful nodding and smiles from the audience.
A member of the audience quietly saw me after the session and shared her deep concern about this issue in her life. She found that this disability played havoc with her peace of mind.
The two questions that prevented her from speaking her mind was – “Will I offend someone with my refusal?” and “How do I frame my refusal?”.
Like her, many undergo daily challenges due to this issue in their personal and professional lives.
Having the confidence to say “no” with intent and purpose means –
1) A reflection of your sincerity and purpose to what you do
Our readiness to say “yes” to something can be self motivated if we are willing to consider the repercussions associated with an act we do not prefer to accomplish. The effort and interest for the task will differ in its quality if we have agreed to work with passion till its completion instead of completing it because we said “Yes”. What is the purpose of the action we are agreeing to do? Is it goal oriented or are we observing it as a mere people pleasing task?
2) We become more comfortable being ourselves
The more we get on to the mode of people pleasing, the more we need to be not ourselves. This becomes a vindictive cycle and an eventual form of extreme anxiety and tension. The less we strive to be artificially what we are not, the more relaxed we will feel. Being able to say “no” is one way we can truly be closer to being who we are in reality.
3) We manage our time with better effectiveness
Many may believe that being selective in what we do makes us forgo great opportunities and experiences. This may not necessarily be the case. The value to time that we give is also heightened when we are able to say “No” to what we do wish to. This spurs us into achieving goals with an even sharper effective plan of action.
4) We will stop yearning for respect from people.
For most people who have an issue in saying “No”, losing respect of people is a formidable fear. The irony is, people are likely to respect you for what you take up and do your best rather than take up something you do not wish to do and make a fiasco about. Besides, rising up to everyone’s expectation successfully is a myth. The sooner we accept this universal fact, the easier it will be for us to lead a life of acceptance and low expectation regarding people.
5) Effective segregation of meaning tasks from useless and mundane tasks
If we are to consider a day, each of us are entitled to the 24 hours it offers. It is the manner we use every moment of our day that determines our success. Do we effectively eliminate tasks that are none purposeful from the important ones? Saying “no” to prioritize our tasks at hand gives us greater opportunities of achieving our goals and dreams.
6) You are at better peace with yourself and the world
This is so true in cases, where we realize that the cause of our stress was for eg: when we were manipulated into doing a task we were not expected to take up.
It is not just the ability to say “No” that plays a crucial role in our well being and happiness. It is whether we are able to say “No” at the right time and for the right reason. Are we saying “No” keeping our goal in mind? Are we completely justified in refusing what is being asked of us or being offered? Does this action enable us to fulfill our energy and time on something productive, nurturing or fulfilling?
Contemplating the answers to these questions will help us develop a positive approach to what we need to accomplish. We can then strive to achieve our goals by learning to effectively say “No” and leading a harmonious and happier existence.