The Trick to Saying No More Often

By: Leeza Kuznetsova

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You start saying “no”, but “yes” slips out (again). Sound familiar? Here’s one easy way you can free yourself from the shackles of guilt that comes with doing something you simply don’t want to do: say “let me get back to you” and then run yourself through a little exercise I like to call, “if I say “yes” to this, what am I also saying “no” to?

Take these three scenarios for example:

Scenario #1: If I say “yes” to a Sunday evening concert that’s 2.5 hours away = I’m also saying “no” to the relaxing sunday I’ve been looking forward to all week, meal prepping, getting to bed early, and feeling well rested for a busy Monday ahead.

Scenario #2: If I say “yes” to volunteering every Wednesday for a cause I’m mildly passionate about = I’m also saying “no” to focusing on a project or hobby I would rather be doing or simply having “me time” to catch up on the book I’ve also committed to reading for book club.

Scenario #3: If I say “yes” to a project with an aggressive timeline = I’m also saying “no” to getting my other projects completed on time, not to mention a little thing called work life balance.

Of course, not every scenario deserves a hard NO. There may be times (especially when it comes to family, friends & your passions) where the juice is well worth the squeeze.

Your turn! Write down one scenario you’re on the fence about this weekend or week with a bulleted list of all of the things you’d be saying “no” to if you said “yes” before you commit one way or another. And if you must say “yes” then make sure it’s to what truly aligns with your goals & values first.

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