I get it. You want to help people, get some work off their hands. You want to be nice, bring a smile on someone’s face. You want to be able to do it all.
I was just like that. Until I felt like I was on the verge of a burnout. A while back, I had an internship where I was supposed to work 35 hours a week. Because I said ‘yes’ so often, it turned into 50 hours a week. Then 60 hours a week. Then I was pushing 65.. All while freelancing on the side as well. It sucked.
But hey, I learned my lesson. This is why you need to say NO more often:
You need to create boundaries
Don’t do what I did: say yes and let people walk over you. You need to create boundaries yourself. If you constantly find yourself in uncomfortable situations and people do not respect these created boundaries, you need to reflect: is it because you’re not direct enough, or is it just because they are disrespectful in general? You’ll meet people that’ll try to test your boundaries, especially in the workforce, but hey, it’s good to practice.
You’re not responsible for anyone else
People often say yes because they don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings, or because they want to be liked. It can be so stressful and damaging to live your life this way – eventually you’ll burn out. Don’t focus too much on keeping others happy, make sure you’re happy yourself first. Be aware of the times you feel uncomfortable when saying no, this will help you to make a more conscious choice and slowly work on this new habit.
Successful people know how to set boundaries and say no
You live and learn, but something almost all successful people agree on is that saying no is important. Saying no actually improves productivity, science reveals. Business magnate Warren Buffet: “the difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.” You don’t have to say no to almost everything, but let it inspire you. Successful people don’t have to give excuses, for them, ‘no’ is a full sentence.
Habits are like a muscle, and every time you say ‘no’ when you would have said ‘yes’ in the past, you are strengthening that muscle. Do you have trouble saying no?