The Power of Saying “No” When You Feel Pressured to Say “Yes”

“When I claim more than what I can handle, I limit the opportunities for another person in my community.”  – Jeff Shinabarger, Author, More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity

Feeling too busy, or pressured to try to please, can get in the way of making sound decisions. It’s part of the human condition.

Here are two personal examples:

  • Someone calls to ask me for help. If I speak with them, I know I’ll want to help, even though it will take time from another commitment, or things I need to do for myself, my partner, kids or friends.

The desire to be of service when you don’t have the bandwidth can create a lot of problems.

  • While shopping for a piece of furniture recently, someone strongly recommended something I thought wouldn’t look good. Even though I said three or four times that I didn’t believe it worked, they were adamant and asked me to trust them. So I said OK and ordered it. The moment it was delivered, I knew it wasn’t right for me – and my instincts were proven right. So I sold it for a fraction of what I paid for it – it was custom ordered – and was happy to see it go.

The desire and pressure to please in that moment can overrule your own good instincts.

What we all need, as one of my coaches once told me, was a strategic filter to say ‘no’ or ‘yes’ immediately. It makes it easier to say ‘no’, the first time. Otherwise, you’re in for all kinds of new problems.

We recently did a wonderful Growth Whisperers podcast about the power of saying “no” that you can check out.

The Challenge

  • Determine your strategic filter/criteria for saying ‘no’ or ‘yes’.
  • Sit down and make a list of all the things already in progress, that you really should say “no” to in your Work and/or your Life.
  • Make a second list of new things you’re thinking about doing to which you should probably say “no”.
  • Consider asking your team to do the same thing.

For more about this, listen to Episode 74 of The Growth Whisperers.

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