I am a “yes” girl, through and through. It is sometimes physically painful for me to say no, especially to an opportunity that could help my career in any way.
Below I’ll share five reasons it is important to say “No.”
1. Shows you value your time and the time of others
If you aren’t the right person for the job, it is important that you say “no” instead of trying to figure it out or make it happen. It is likely that you will waste your own time and the time of others if you aren’t honest with yourself. Being upfront about your skills and being honest if you aren’t the best person for the job, will likely earn you points in the long run. Not to mention, you’ll be opening the job or opportunity to someone who really deserves it and will thrive.
2. Shows you aren’t a pushover
Sometimes we say yes because we feel like we have to. This isn’t at all true. Saying “yes,” every time someone asks something of you can have a negative effect too. You want your clients or employers to respect your boundaries and understand that you can’t be available at their every whim. It is important to set these boundaries from the get-go so a precedent is set and the relationship is understood.
3. Creates Space for other opportunities
The more you say “no” to the opportunities you know will not serve you or are just extra work with little to no payoff, the more opportunities will become available to you. Saying “no” creates space for the opportunities you really want. I have a bad habit of saying “yes” to almost all of the opportunities that are presented to me. Consequently, I almost always take on too much and regret it down the line.
4. Burnout is Less Likely
Remember how I said above that I take on too much because I can’t say “no”? Learning to say “no” is essential to avoid burnout, or experience it far less often. If you’re looking for other tools on how to avoid burnout, visit my article “The Inevitable Burnout.”
5. Creates Space for Your Goals
Remember those goals you set for yourself? Have you reached them yet? Are you taking the necessary steps to make them happen? If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” take a look at how you are responding to other opportunities. Are you putting your goals on the back burner? Saying “no” to the opportunities that are less appealing, or are not presently worth your time and effort, will allow you to create space for the goals that you’ve allowed to be pushed aside.
I hope this was helpful and encourages you to practice saying “no.” If you’re still not convinced, I like this article by Danielle Dowling, Psy.D. Do you practice saying “no”? Let me know how in the comments!