The Power of NO (Updated Post)

How often do you agree to do something when you are either completely unmotivated to do it, or are so over-burdened by other responsibilities that you feel like you are shackling yourself to an impossible schedule? Maybe you’re known as the “nicest person” who always manages to make time for everybody no matter what. And maybe you don’t want people to think otherwise about you, despite the fact that your energy and your patience are worn thin by people who always seem to drain the very lifeblood from you, and expect you to do everything for them at the drop of a hat.

Have you ever considered using the word NO once in a while? By setting limits and boundaries, you will keep energy vampires at bay, and you give yourself a chance to balance out your life so that you don’t burn yourself out. I am sure that the people who have taken your availability for granted will be stunned when you respond to a request with NO, but they’ll get used to it. Whenever I gather the courage to refuse a request, a feeling of complete relief washes over me, especially if I feel like I am drowning in the wide expanse of my to-do list.

When you refuse a request, task, or invitation, you finally allow yourself to take a break. As long as you aren’t shirking responsibilities, you absolutely should feel like you deserve to clear the space around you, especially if you are in dire need of recharging your own batteries. There’s something I say to patients quite frequently, and that is, remember to put the oxygen mask over your OWN face. If you don’t nurture yourself, you won’t perform as well in all the roles you play in your life, whether it’s employee, boss, parent, spouse, etc.

It’s completely acceptable to draw the line in the sand, and to establish boundaries which preserve your sense of self and which keep your life, and your spirit, balanced and happy. If you are having difficulty asserting yourself and getting to the power of NO, then try this: whenever someone asks you for a favor or invites you somewhere, just say that you need to think about it or check your schedule, which is not a lie, and that you will let that person know soon. That gives you a window of time to evaluate the situation, and to determine if you have the time or the resources to accommodate the invitation or request.

Another important consideration is whether you have the inclination to take part in the task or event. Be honest with yourself! I see too many people agree to do things they don’t want to do, then they are steeped in misery. This doesn’t give you permission to be difficult, selfish, or uncooperative, but it certainly gives you some breathing room. If your heart isn’t in it, then don’t do it!

Remember that you will be better equipped to serve others if you take care of yourself first.

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The Power of NO

How often do you agree to do something when you are either completely unmotivated to do it, or are so over-burdened by other responsibilities that you feel like you are shackling yourself to an impossible schedule? Maybe you’re known as the “nicest person” who always manages to make time for everybody no matter what. And maybe you don’t want people to think otherwise about you, despite the fact that your energy and your patience are worn thin by people who always seem to drain the very lifeblood from you, and expect you to drop everything for them at the drop of a hat.

Have you ever considered using the word NO once in a while? By setting limits and boundaries, you keep energy vampires at bay, and you give yourself a chance to balance out your life so that you don’t burn yourself out. I am sure that the people who have taken your availability for granted will be stunned when you respond to a request with NO, but they’ll get used to it. A feeling of complete relief washes over me when I gather the courage to refuse a request, especially if I feel like I am drowning in the wide expanse of my to-do list. Remember that you will be better equipped to serve others if you take care of yourself first.

Not Holding My Breath For You!

unreliable people

When I was younger, I would go out of my way to accommodate other people’s requests, and always believed them when they promised to follow up with me. Then, when no follow up call came, I would always blame myself, as if I had any control over another human being. Nowadays, I automatically assume that nothing is set in stone until the appointment is booked and the person shows up, the deposit is paid (if a business transaction is to take place), the contract is signed, etc. I certainly have learned my lesson over the years and would rather have no expectations and then be pleasantly surprised when someone with integrity whose word is reliable comes through.

The no-expectations attitude which I have adopted has definitely helped me deal with people in the fitness and entertainment industries, both of which seem to attract some of the flakiest people on the planet. The more grandiose the ideas and promises made by someone I am just meeting for the first time, the more I suspect that their words are simply verbal diarrhea, so I just tune them out.

I now de-prioritize all individuals who fail to call when they are supposed to, who fail to respond to reasonable and friendly follow-up requests, or who offer some bullshit excuse about how things are still “in the works” and how my patience would be appreciated. I have done business with too many people who are complete flakes, and I am DONE. It isn’t MY job to follow up with them, and I am sick of the aggravation. My message to all of them is to put on grown-up pants and show some respect and some initiative!

In keeping with having to deal with unreliable and unprofessional people, I refuse to suggest ideas or offer information without a written contract in place. I also will not provide a service unless it is paid for at the time of services rendered. And no, I do not accept checks.

What frustrates me is that I still find myself wondering what it is that I did to cause this person to ignore me, yet I know how unhealthy such notions are. I can’t take it personally. The best thing to do is to brush the negative experience aside and move on.