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When was the last time that you said no?  I don’t mean the obvious stuff like saying no to a bad movie or eating sketchy gas station sushi.  The kind of no that I am talking about is the one that can make you feel uncomfortable like saying no to your boss when they ask you to take on another project, or saying no to a friend who wants you to stop by their birthday party even though you have previous plans on that day with your wife.  

The problem with actually saying no is that we aren’t used to doing it.  Instead of controlling our own schedule and life we allow others to take over simply by not using those two little letters that sit together as a perfect pair.  If we are always saying yes to something or someone then we are giving up our right to choose and control how our day, week, month and even year goes.  

Now I know what some of you may be thinking, always saying no will keep you from being able to experience new things and people, just look at the movie “Yes Man,” he literally couldn’t say no!  But let me flip that idea on its head for just a moment by giving you some contrast.  

Every time that you say yes to something, you are also saying no.  Don’t get it?  If I say yes to my boss on taking on a new project, I am saying no to putting in my full effort to my current project which in turn makes the new project sub par as well.  If I say yes to my friend’s birthday party, I am saying no to spending a full day focused on my wife and building a relationship with her. 

The point is, we are constantly overworking, overbooking and overexerting ourselves every chance we get and then wonder why we feel so exhausted and underachieving at the end of the day. So how do you start applying the power of no to create more space and feel less stressed? 

Start with these 3 Tips. 

  1. Create Space – Often when we are asked a question we react too quickly putting ourselves in situations in which we really didn’t take time to consider.  Before answering a question, take time to break eye contact, look away and breathe so that you can give yourself the mental space to consider what is best for you. 
  1. Answer The No – Before you say yes to anything, first answer the no.  By recognizing that with every yes there is a corresponding no, you give yourself the ability to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of your decision.  
  1. Be Firm – When you have made your decision be firm with it by answering with a simple yes or no.  If you soften your response with “well I just don’t know if that might be the best choice for me right now” instead of “no thank you” you create ambiguity with yourself and the other person.  Let your no be your no and your yes be your yes. 

By implementing these 3 tips you will start to find more balance in your days and more control in your life.  If you are interested in learning more about how your language can create more calm and control in your life, book a free 45 minute clarity call and we will help you build actionable results immediately! 

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