Why I suddenly say no more often
There's a quote I really love. It's by Derek Sivers: "No 'Yes'. Either 'Hell yeah!' or 'No'." Whichever decision I need to make, I try really hard to use this quote. Trust me, it's an amazing filter.
No matter if it's regarding new opportunities. An offer to be part of a project. An invitation to an event. A "really short" talk over coffee. If it only feels like a "Meh, I'm not sure, if I should... maybe...", or if my gut tells me something's off, I don't do it. I say no. Firmly. Whenever I said yes to that kind of things in the past, the result often annoyed, frustrated or even hurt me.
Since I say no more often, a whole lot of new opportunities present themselves. Almost always the ones, where I respond with a loud "Hell yeah!". This habit freed up space in my life to focus on the things, that really matter to me. Things like reading, writing, spending time with my loved ones, working on challenging projects.
What does this have to do with you? Well, how often do you say no? Often enough? Or do you say 'Yes' to things, although you can hear yourself yelling 'No!!!' loud and clear inside of your head? This is not about being afraid to leave your comfort zone and saying no to interesting chances out of fear.
This is about not wasting your time. With people, that your gut feeling already told you not to. With projects, that you shouldn't do, because they clutter your life without yielding any result and annoy the sh*t out of you (if you're really honest to yourself). With attending dinner parties, you already know will bore you to death, or hanging out in a club, you don't like (surrounded by people you reeeeeally don't like).
That little thing called 'Gut feeling'
Go with your gut. This nagging little voice in your head, that tells you "But this might be a cool party!" or "But this might be the career step, I was waiting for!" or "But what if he changes and we live happily ever after?" is called Fear Of Missing Out. FOMO. If you're not super excited for something or something doesn't feel right, don't do it and say no. Period.
Many people don't listen to their gut instinct anymore. We all used to do this when we were little. Instead we try to overthink everything. But if your gut feeling tells you that something's not a good idea, or that this guy's a creep or that it doesn't feel like a good investment opportunity, please listen. This is your internal alarm system and it's always right.
There's another area, where you should try to say no more often: When someone is not respecting you and your personal limits. To do so, you need to set healthy boundaries. Set them so they're clear right from the start. If someone is overstepping them, tell him or her 'No'. Physical boundaries, emotional boundaries, cultural boundaries, no matter which one is being touched, defend it with a firm 'No'.
Stand up for your values. Always try to assume though that the other person was acting in the best way he or she could and didn't act intentionally. Obviously, this is only true to a certain extent: Nobody ever has the right to offend you, to trash your opinion, to invade your privacy or to lay a finger on you.
Never forget this. In the end, living peacefully in our heterogeneous society is only possible if personal limits and boundaries are respected by all of us. Lead by example and others will follow 🙂
This week's list of soul-stirring inspiration to read, listen to, watch and do is about "how to say no more often" - enjoy!
- Read this: Using the 5/25 Rule to Learn to Say “No” by James Altucher and No “yes.” Either “HELL YEAH!” or “no.” by Derek Sivers. Indispensable life advice I wish I've had 10 years earlier.
- Listen to this: Derek Sivers on Developing Confidence, Finding Happiness, and Saying “No” to Millions. An episode of Tim Ferriss' podcast, that I listened to multiple times. Derek Sivers is an amazing human being and full of wisdom, it's unbelievable. I especially love his approach towards entrepreneurship. And I try to follow his advice on saying 'No' with every single decision I make.
- Watch this: Brene Brown on how setting boundaries makes you more compassionate. This is a rather short but insightful interview about how empathy, integrity, generosity, compassion and boundaries all go hand in hand.
- Do this: Today is a good day to practice saying 'No' more often. Is there something you're thinking over again and again, trying to find the one reason why you should say 'Yes'? Well, stop it and say 'No' instead. Then enjoy feeling relieved. You're welcome.
When was the last time you said no and why? Or was there a situation, you wish you had said no to but didn't? Comment below, let me know. I'd love to hear your story.
Thanks for reading!
If you’re looking for practical ways on how to be more mindful in your daily life, I’ve put together what I call ‘The ultimate beginner’s guide to a mindful lifestyle’ incl. a 30 day planner to keep track on your habits. And the best part? You can download it for free now!