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Learning to Say No: Why Doing Less Is More


Summary: Find out why you should learn to say no sometimes instead of always saying yes to people.

Summary: Find out why you should learn to say no sometimes instead of always saying yes to people.

In this day and age, doing more seems to be the epitome of success. The less sleep you get and the more you accomplish puts others in awe: 5:00 am workouts paired with staying late at work, making dinner for your spouse or heading out on the town with friends, all while running your own business on the side. You know that person, and that person might even be you.
Sometimes you do more because you like to make everyone else happy. Perhaps you always take on another coworker’s project when they’re struggling or ask you for help. Maybe you’re baking six dozen cupcakes at midnight for your kid’s bake sale the next morning that they forgot to tell you about. Maybe you’re running someone else’s errands, organizing someone’s party, or taking care of someone’s dog when you really didn’t have the time or energy to help.
But with everyone else screaming, “more, more, more!” you might find your heart, body and mind asking for a little less. Simply because someone else manages to fit more into their schedule doesn’t mean that they are actually more successful. First and foremost, we all have our own definitions of success, but no one can sustain that kind of life for very long or be happy while doing so.
If you really want to be successful in life and actually find joy in what you do, you might have to start learning how to say no and how to pick and choose what’s really important to you.
You might have to learn how to use the word “No.”
When you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself. – Paulo Coelho
For most people, saying “no” can be really difficult. We want to make other people happy, we want to be useful, or we simply can’t come up with a good excuse quickly enough. The real problem with saying no is that we don’t want to disappoint people. However, sometimes you have to say no to others if you want to take care of yourself.
One of the most important things to know about saying “no” to someone’s request is that you don’t need an excuse. We all quickly fumble for some reason or another, often making up a small lie to get out of something we don’t want to do. But guess what? You don’t need to. You can just say no. We’re all adults. Hopefully the other person doesn’t want to make you do something that you don’t have the time, energy or desire to do. A simple, “thank you for thinking of me, but not this time,” will suffice.
Arm yourself with this knowledge. That way the next time someone asks you for a favor you will know that it’s okay to say no.