I was recently approached to write an article around a certain topic, and I said NO!
I said No not because I was shy or felt imposter syndrome was creeping in, but because I felt that topic did not align with what I wished to stand for as an individual.
Saying No can be difficult for many, including me, as it can feel like we are letting the other person down or worse missing out on golden opportunities. Unknown to many, I have in the past been very fearful of how people would view me whenever the word No came out of my mouth. Would they see my rejection as a sign of laziness? Would I look like someone who did not know what she was doing? Or would the other person assume my No meant that I did not care about them? All these thoughts would fly past my mind whenever I felt the urge to say that two letter word.
This time however, I was happy to let go of a lucrative opportunity using that same word.
What made the difference this time round was the fact that I had clarity on the values I wanted to stand for and the direction I wanted my brand to take. This clarity gives me clear boundaries on what is important to my life and in turn, gave me permission to say no with confidence.
What is important to remember is that saying No is not a sign of weakness, rather, it is a sign of strength and self-respect. When we say yes to everything, we can quickly become overwhelmed with unnecessary tasks that do not align to our goals and eventually, we become burnt out. By saying no, we are giving ourselves the permission to prioritize our time and energy to focus on the things that are most important to us.
How then do we use our values to make everyday decisions?
Figure your core values: Take some time to reflect on what is most important to you in life. Consider the principles, beliefs, and ideals that guide your behaviors and decision-making. If something goes against your beliefs or principles, saying no is one true way of staying true to yourself.
Prioritize your values: Once you have identified your values, prioritize them in order of importance. This will help in making decisions when faced with conflicting choices. A strong value system provides the foundation for consistency and integrity in behavior. When we act in accordance with our values, we are more likely to guard our reputation by behaving consistently and avoiding situations that compromise our integrity.
Consider the consequences: For every decision you take, consider how well it aligns with your values and its potential consequences. How does it impact your life or the lives of those around you? Saying yes when someone asks us for something means they are asking us to give away something in return. This is a cost of the decision taken and recognizing what it is we are giving away by saying yes can help us in prioritizing the No.
Boldly say NO to what does not align to your values: Oftentimes, we are tempted to ‘soften the blow’ of saying no by giving a vague, non-committal responses, such as “I’ll do my best” or “I’ll see what I can do” etc. When we do this, we not only demean the value of our word, but we also leave the person on the receiving end in a worse off position than if we had said an outright No. So, use your words to boldly state what you mean and mean what you say.
By using our values to make decisions, we stay true to ourselves, and we live a life that is not only fulfilling but meaningful too.
Set clear boundaries and communicate your needs to those around you using the power of Yes and No. That way, you will prioritize both your time and energy. And if you are looking for simple and diplomatic ways in which you can say no without damaging your brand, be sure to click this link.
Allow your values to guide your choices and #Standout4Growth.