How to say no so you can make room for 'yes'

One of the struggles so many of us have is the ability to say NO!

We skirt around the issue, we feel bad and worry about what people say. However honing this will benefit you in so many ways. In being selective and stating what you don't want, you will make space for the stuff you actually want.

So how do we know what to say yes to? Some decisions will need some time to work through in our head, to figure out the logistics and find the solution. But there are times, we know 'It's a no' immediately. We get that niggling feeling in our gut and our intuition goes into overdrive. 

One of the most common themes I experience with clients is asking for permission.

‘Is it ok to feel like this?’

‘What would they think of me- is it ok to do something unexpected?”

‘It is ok to say no, I really don’t want to do this’.

The answer to the above questions is Yes. It is ok to say no, we shouldn’t be frightened of it. Have you ever said yes on a whim and then thought ‘Oh no, why on earth did I say yes to that, I couldn’t think of anything worst’. We all have.

I want to invite you to say no a little more over the coming weeks, here are 5 easy steps to help you along the way.

1)  When someone asks you to do something, get all the facts upfront. What exactly is involved? How long will it take? What is required? Then and only then can you make an informed decision after considering all the facts.

2)  Don’t be tempted to agree straight away. If you need more time to make up your mind, then take that time- don’t feel you have to make a snap decision. Consider saying ‘Thanks for all the info, I will come back to at x time to see if that is possible’. By specifying a time, you are valuing the request but also leaving the person who asked plenty of time to make alternative arrangements if the answer is no.

3)  Have a look at your week and block out time for you that is non negotiable. It may be your exercise schedule or those few hours that are yours on the sofa. Treat the time like an appointment you have to attend- this is your time to recuperate and recharge, don’t be tempted to give it up.

4)  Be less available. We are all on the move and contactable at all times. Consider leaving your phone at home sometimes, or waiting a couple of hours before checking and replying to emails. Sometimes, we can be too efficient and in replying we create a further trail of to dos and responses. Give yourself permission to wait.

5)  Finally when you say yes, really say yes. Be completely present, fully immersed and totally engaged with what you are doing. If you are at a dinner party, be there, relax, chat, laugh and get involved. Don’t be tempted to concentrate on documenting it all on social media. Sometimes we are too good at multi tasking and we just need to do one thing at a time and execute it brilliantly.