Prioritize and Commit to Yourself
One of the best ways that I’ve found to begin to say “no” is to take a look at my own priorities and then evaluate what I’m being asked to do in relationship to the things that I most want in my life. What is most important to me in terms of my health, work, relationships, personal development and finances? If I want to spend more time with my family, than agreeing to run a big fundraiser may not be a great fit for me. If, on the other hand, putting my organizational skills to work in an environment where I’ll meet like-minded people, gain a sense of satisfaction from my efforts and help a worthy cause, are aligned with my priorities, then the fundraiser could be a great fit. So, begin by looking at what’s important to you at this point in your life and make your decisions with those priorities in mind. And remember, saying “No” to something that doesn’t align with your priorities allows you to say “Yes” to something that does.
If standing up for yourself by saying “No” continues to be a challenge for you, perhaps a change in perspective might help. Would it feel different to you if saying “No” allowed someone else to say “Yes”? Perhaps someone new to town would love to coach that team, organize the church picnic or serve on the PTO. What a wonderful gift you would be giving them by stepping aside and allowing them to use their gifts and talents.
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Start today to practice saying “no”. Become aware of what’s been motivating you, figure out your priorities so they will always be in your awareness when you are faced with a choice, decision or opportunity. If it feels right, create a list of things that you want to stop doing. Give yourself enough time to really evaluate your responses. Start saying no to little things and work up to the bigger things. Shift your perspective.
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Learning to say “no” is like developing a new muscle. Your ability to do it will improve over time with consistent practice. Before long you will notice that you are living with greater joy and authenticity, manifesting the life of your dreams.