It is one of your greatest desires to be productive and achieve a lot of your set goals. However strong this desire is, you wouldn’t achieve more unless you learn how to stop saying yes to everything.
Last year, I took an interest in researching the concept of saying no. I realized that saying NO is not a bad thing. This is in opposition to what we learn while growing up. We saw saying yes to every request as being respectful even when we are not happy. What we fail to understand is that not saying yes to everything, allows us to say yes genuinely to things that truly matter.
When you say yes to something you don’t want to do, here is the result; you hate what you are doing, you resent the person who asked you to do the act and you hurt yourself.James Altucher, author of ‘The power of No’
Reasons Why You Say YES to Everything
1. You Fear Losing Someone’s Affection
This is the most likely reason you say yes to everything. You withdraw from people when they say no to your requests. As such, you also feel saying no to other people’s requests means losing their affection and you fear that.
2. You Don’t Want to Be Perceived As a Bad Person
You have an orientation that those who say no are bad people and you do want to be one.
3. You Are a People Pleaser
You feel responsible for how people feel. Hence, you desire to ensure people are happy even at the expense of your happiness.
4. You Lack Clarity
When you lack clarity on what to do and how to utilize your time, you would be always available to any request; the more reason why you should learn how to stop saying yes to everything.
5. Desire to Fit In
In this case, you are struggling with low self-esteem. You measure your worth by people’s opinion so saying ‘No’ is considered a big deal just to get accepted. You will need to know how to overcome low self-esteem.
Let’s have a short scenario to buttress my points:
Munirah planned her day the night before. She woke up in the morning with enough energy to see through achieving her goals scheduled for the day. She was on her first task when her friend called her. The following conversation ensued:
“Munirah, please I would love you to accompany me to go shopping.” Her friend requested.
“Okay.” was Munirah’s response with no hesitation.
Munirah suspended her task and accompanied her friend. The shopping consumed hours. When Munirah arrived home, she was tired and it was time to prepare dinner. She looked at her to-do list and said, “It’s sad I couldn’t achieve these goals. I hope I don’t get any requests tomorrow just so I can achieve these goals.
What has Munirah done?
Munirah said yes to her friend at the expense of her goals. What she never realized was that the shopping can be done some other time. Her company might not be necessary. She can ask her friend to reschedule the shopping to enable her to plan for it.
Her expression, in the end, shows that she found it hard to say No. She doesn’t want to be called a selfish person. Also, she wants to please her friend and she didn’t place her goals as her priority. She needs to learn to say no.
I don’t advise you to be like Munirah.
I Have Got 5 Amazing Tips On How to Stop Saying Yes to Everything
1. Know Thyself
To stop saying yes to everything, you should have a clear understanding of yourself. Get to know things that you can do and things you hate doing. in addition, have a good grasp of times where you are most productive and make those times for yourself.
A reasonable level of self-awareness helps you to make the right choices. In addition, it enables you to say yes or no to requests confidently as the case may be.
2. Have Clear Boundaries
Some people perceive having boundaries to be a bad idea. However, having boundaries enables you to build healthy relationships and practice self-care. If your boundaries are clear and well communicated, you would hardly have any reason to doubt saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Hence, you always give genuine responses.
For example, if Munirah knows that she is most productive in the morning, she can easily communicate why she wouldn’t accompany her friend. Her friend would have probably been reasonable enough to respect the decision.
3. Explain Your Decision
Sometimes, dealing with loved ones makes saying ‘No’ difficult. That doesn’t mean you should say ‘Yes’ to every request they present. In such situations, you should explain why your response is negative.
‘I’m currently busy with an important task. If my company is important for the shopping, then I can plan for it tomorrow.’
This is a reasonable explanation that Munirah should have given to her friend.
4. State Your Condition
When someone requests something from you, do not be afraid to state your conditions. This is especially important if accepting the request means placing too much pressure on you. You should stop saying ‘Yes’ to things that place unnecessary pressure on you.
For example, as a seamstress, a client requests that you sew her dress nicely but urgently. Meanwhile, you know that you work best when you take your time. It’s best to state your condition like this:
You want a good job and I also want to give you the best. However, you can get what you desire if you could come back in two days.
This is a simple condition. It’s left to the client to decide. Here, you have said ‘Yes’ to doing a good job and ‘No’ to putting undue pressure on yourself.
5. Be Courteous
Encouraging you to stop saying yes to everything doesn’t in any way mean being rude about it. You should say no in a courteous manner. I don’t need to remind you that your tone matters a lot in communication.
Be kind even when your response to them is not positive.
Above, I stated 5 tips on how to stop saying yes to everything and every request that comes your way. These ways include knowing thyself, having clear boundaries, explaining, stating your condition, and being courteous.
Additionally, you should say yes to things that make you a better person and no to things that bring otherwise.
Do you find these tips helpful? Do share your thoughts in the comment section.