The word "NO" is compelling – and can be a positive word! 🙅♀️
So why is it that so many of us struggle to say "NO"? 🤔
Today I'm sharing some tips and tricks that I've learnt over the years that can help us all say "NO"...
...without feeling guilty! 🙌
Too much to do, too little time to do it – too many people making demands upon your time, all with conflicting agendas.
Sound familiar? 🙋♀️
I first learnt to say "NO" a couple of years back when Beauty and the Boutique started to take off 🚀
If I didn't say "NO" (to some things both in work and out of work), it meant that I couldn't get the essential parts of the business done, to build Beauty and the Boutique into what you see today 💗
Saying "NO" without guilt is something I struggled with, as I'm a people pleaser by nature.
The very thought of saying "NO" used to make my mouth go dry and my palms sweat 😥
I used to feel that by saying "NO" I'd be letting someone down or, worse still, hurting their feelings 😔
Over the years of running Beauty and the Boutique, I've discovered some tips and techniques which have helped me to say "NO" with confidence 🎉
Could they help you, too?
Saying "NO" in the right way can leave both you AND the requestor feeling good!
Get ready to feel liberated! 💖
Identify what's important to YOU and acknowledge what's NOT.
Before you can say "NO" with confidence, you have to be clear about what you want to say "NO" to – you need to know what's in your capabilities, and what isn't going to work 👍
Then say 'NO' clearly and confidently
All of the other tips follow on from this.
Recognise that it's flattering when a request is made of you.
They're asking for your help because they TRUST you, and they believe in your capabilities to help 🥰
See it as a POSITIVE and not a chore.
This next part is reeeally (like REALLY!) important – thank them for thinking of you or making the request/invitation 💕
Don't worry – this doesn't need to lead to a "YES"!
Remember – you're NOT rejecting the person, just declining the invitation or request.
So, make it clear and let the person know that you respect them — maybe you admire their idea, suggestion, passion or generosity 😄
But never fake it…
(…even if you're not enamoured with the person making the request, simply being polite and kind will convey that you aren't rejecting them.)
Having a reason really does help the saying of the "NO".
If you can give a thoughtful explanation, it helps the other person empathise and understand your reasons even more! 💭
If you have a colleague asking you to step in on the office party planning committee, but you already have outstanding work assignments.
You can reply with a simple...
"Although I wish I could help, I don't feel I can take on other projects when I'm behind on my existing assignments."
This statement helps the other person understand and empathise more so than:
"I haven't got the time." and it's more thoughtful.
Maybe you don't feel like what they're asking you to do plays to your strengths. Perhaps you have other priorities or commitments taking up your time 📆
Be honest about WHY you're saying "NO".
If (like me) you tend to suffer from major saying "NO" guilt, offering a helpful alternative can really help! 🙌
When you can't provide someone with what they want/need, find the closest alternative.
Even if it doesn't work for them...
...They'll still appreciate your effort.
This way, you can minimise your guilt and try to help them at the same time! 👍
Feeling guilty after saying "NO" is normal, but this is when it's essential to focus on the positives that saying "NO" has freed you up to do or enjoy 🌤
(Even if it's something as simple as gaining a little time for yourself!)
Once you've declined an invitation/request...
Make an effort to focus on the good that will come from saying "NO"
…not the regret or guilt you may feel about turning down an offer!
Try to see the positives...
Maybe saying "NO" to one thing frees up time for another (more meaningful) activity?
Whatever the case may be, focus on your effort's positive outcome to give a good "NO" ✨
Vague but Effective "Thank you for asking, but that's not going to work out for me this time."
It's Not Personal "Thank you for asking, but I'm not able to take on extra work right now."
Ask Me Later "I want to do that, but I'm not available until next month. Will you ask me again then?"
Gratitude "Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support! I'm sorry I'm not able to help you at this time!"
Give Dad a Chance "You know I feel like mums are always getting to do the holiday parties at school. Let's ask Dad if he wants to help this year."
Five Minute Favour "I can't attend your event, but I will promote it to my friends."
It's Someone Else's Decision "I promised I wouldn't take on any more projects right now to my partner/kids etc. I'm working on creating more balance in my life."
I Know Someone Else "I just don't have time right now. Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you."
I'm Already Booked "I appreciate you thinking of me, but I'm afraid I'm already booked that day."
Setting Boundaries "Let me tell you what I can do…" (Then limit the commitment to what will be comfortable for you.)
Not NO, but not Yes "Let me think about it, and I'll get back to you."
Okay, so full disclosure – I still feel the "NO" guilt BUT, using these tips nowhere near as much! 😅
I now appreciate the consequences if I don't say "NO" to some things.
When I take on everything that comes my way, I can't do any ONE thing well.
Give these tips a try – I think you'll be surprised at how liberating it can be to say "NO" with confidence! 💖