rich minds, rich rewards
How to Say "No" Gracefully
you ever been asked to do something that you didn't want to do,
but you said "yes" anyway? Many of us have done it.
And for some, it is a consistent source of stress. This week,
I want to share a message that warrants repeating. These are five
simple, practical ways to begin saying "no" to opportunities,
responsibilities, events and people in which you are not truly
Whenever you say "yes" to something that is not meaningful
to you, you limit the time you have for the things that are meaningful
to you. In order to attract what you want into your life, you
must make room for what you want. It can become very easy to fill
your life with commitments that do not further your purpose, bring
you joy, or help you create the life you really want. From projects
you aren't excited about to babysitting when you don't want to,
being able to say "no" is a key to enjoying a fulfilling
life. If saying "no" makes you uncomfortable, here are
five ideas to help you get over your fear and apprehension:
1. DON'T SUCCUMB TO THE PRESSURE TO ANSWER IMMEDIATELY.
"Let me think about that" is an acceptable response
when you don't feel sure about saying "yes" to someone.
Give yourself the time to consider a request and then get back
with the person in a set amount of time. If it is a particularly
hard decision, pray about it. Then make a decision based on what
you feel a sense of peace about doing.
2. OFFER AN ALTERNATIVE.
Saying "no" isn't about being rude or inconsiderate
of others' requests. It is very possible to say "no"
honestly without offending others. One way is to be considerate
enough to offer an alternative. "I won't be able to work
on that project, but Mary has expressed an interest." "Now
is not a good time, but if you can wait another week, I'll be
glad to help." "My client load is full to capacity,
but I would be glad to refer you to someone else." All of
these are examples of offering an alternative.
3. REFUSE TO BE MANIPULATED.
The "disease to please" is the main cause of saying
"yes" too often. Don't allow others to make you feel
guilty because you won't do what they want when it does not fit
within your purpose and vision for your life. When you allow others
to manipulate you, you begin to harbor resentment against them
even though you allowed them to do it. Simply refuse to allow
attempted guilt trips to sway your decision.
4. YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE PLANS TO SAY "NO."
Some people feel that if they don't have something else scheduled,
they are obligated to participate in whatever activities others
think they should participate in. Not so. You don't need an excuse
to say "no." Perhaps you just want to rest or take a
break. That's your prerogative. Embrace your right to control
your schedule and spend your time doing what matters to you.
5. MAKE PURPOSEFUL DECISIONS.
When you know your purpose and why you do the things you do, it
becomes much easier to make decisions about what to say "no"
to and what to say "yes" to. If you haven't already,
get clear about your purpose. Use "Listen to Your Life"
or "Rich Minds, Rich Rewards" as a resource to help
you uncover your purpose. When you know your divinely-ordained
purpose, decisions about your work, relationships, finances and
other issues become easier to make.
Time is so precious. Use your time doing things that move you
closer to your vision. You really don't have time for anything
My challenge to you this week:
Don't be quick to say "yes." People-pleasing will exhaust
Answer this question for yourself - "Why do I feel pressured
to say "yes" to others when I really want to say "no"?
Who do I most need to practice saying "no" to? When
will I start?
Open for New Winter and Spring Coaching Groups and Teleclasses!
(All groups and teleclasses are conducted by phone.)
Find out more and register online at http://www.valorieburton.com/tele.html.
life coach and speaker, Valorie Burton’s purpose is inspiring
people to live more fulfilling, less stressful lives. She
is the author of Listen to Your Life, What’s Really Holding
You Back? and Rich Minds, Rich Rewards.
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