Learning to say “no”

Yesterday, when I should have been writing a post, and meeting a new client, and ensuring there was food in the fridge for my family, my stomach was playing tricks on me.  Each time I stood up, I wanted to run and throw up.  And yet, I was trying to continue to behave “as normal”.  I was in pain, sweating, suffering, but just pushing through, “as planned”.  I felt like death, but could not see another way.

And then, I received an email, from a coaching guru I love, which asked me, quite simply, the following: “TODAY, WILL YOU CHOOSE TO SAY YES, OR NO?”

That was, in fact, all I needed to realise that I needed to spend only fifteen more minutes suffering, writing emails to all those with whom I had appointments, apologising and asking them to help me by rescheduling!  It was so simple, and yet it had taken me almost all of the morning to accept that this was what I needed to do.  Sometimes, you have to say “NO”, however used you have become to trying to do it all.

Today I feel much better!

What are some ways you could learn to say no, and feel better?  Here are some I can think of, at the right moment:

  • reading your homework over a third time, when you have been invited to go and listen to a friend’s concert
  • staying on overtime at work, again, just  because your boss wants you to
  • helping your friend to catch up on homework not done through laziness or lack of organisation

There will be more on this in a future edition of BecomingGlobal, as setting boundaries and priorities is a truly crucial part of professional success.  If you want to get the best tips already for your future professional life, then you can subscribe here to our monthly magazine.

What other ideas do you have about how and when to say no?  I will read them all!