When you think of the word “angel”, you imagine someone who’s extremely nice and would never say NO to your requests, he/she would do anything else in this world but say NO to you.
Sadly, there are no angels on earth, you’d have to get to heaven to find one.
There are many factors that determine whether we achieve success or fulfillment in life or not and while hard work, diligence and determination are required to achieve and maintain that, your ability to say NO when and where necessary can decide whether you make it eventually or not.
The reason why some people are not where they want to be is not because President Buhari of Nigeria is slow and vague in making economic decisions, it is not because of the global recession, neither is it because Donald Trump will become President of America in January, 2017, rather it is due to their inability to say NO when they need to: NO to meaningless engagements, NO to popular opinions that lack depth, NO to requests that tamper with their integrity and self-discipline…
I have said NO a gazillion times in the course of my life. However, I have discovered that on growing up and becoming an adult, it has become a lot more difficult especially when your really close friend, boss, colleague or family member is giving you that puppy eye or stern look that tells you subtly that your future relationship depends on it or when the rest of the world who’s said YES seem to be having all the fun in the world while at it.
So how does using the word NO change your life for good?
It makes you an authentic person: The world is filled with so much distrust and lack of integrity. People find it way easier to make promises they will not keep than say NO right away and be free of unnecessary baggage. Cultivating the habit of using an authentic NO will help you develop the fine quality of authenticity and thus you stand out from the less disciplined crowd.
Not everyone will love you for this but then, good riddance!
It adds more life to your years and more years to your life:
By using an authentic NO at the right time, you get to live more meaningfully by focusing only on things that really matter and weeding out unnecessary engagements.
Some people complain that 24 hours seem pretty short to achieve their set goals but then think about this: more than half of people in this category actually spend a lot of their time on things that add no value to their existence: chats and arguments on past activities of celebrities and footballers, gossip and complaining about things they could actually do something about or even worse things they cannot change, among others.
Until you cultivate the habit of saying NO to these kinds of activities, even a million hours will never be enough. You will miss out on living a really fulfilled life because unsorted responsibilities and activities will keep piling up on you.
It helps you develop authentic relationships with people that value authenticity:
Even though I do not totally agree with the opinion that “you are who you attract” because in my opinion “even the devil wants to go to heaven but going to heaven wouldn’t make him change his evil ways”. Being a good person really doesn’t mean only good people would be attracted to you, even shady and unscrupulous people would try to get close to you, however, being an authentic person increases your chances of being appreciated and approached by authentic people or those that value such traits.
It keeps you healthy and baggage free: I have always wondered how our emotions and thoughts affect our health, but then the rising cases of hypertension, high blood pressure, stroke and the likes with leading causes being traced to worry, fear and fatigue has made me realize how strong the connection is. When you keep your life streamlined and focused by saying NO to irrelevant activities and engagements, you get to free your thoughts from worry and anxiety, you get to live intentionally and not under unnecessary pressure from external sources.
It allows you to be of meaningful contribution because you know a YES means you’re fully committed and you’ll put in your best effort to achieve the desired outcome.
How to Say NO without hurting anyone’s feelings
- Try suggesting alternative options
- Show concern but be firm about why you think you are not the right fit for the purpose
- Don’t give any misleading statements that will keep them hopeful when you know you will not change your mind
- Get your intentions right: be sure you’re saying no for the right reasons, and have also given it ample thought, pros and cons, before giving your reply.