Personal Life Coaching

Spirituality Article:

How to Gracefully Say "No" Without Feeling Selfish

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One of the most common causes of stress in today’s crazy world is trying to cram too much into too little time. When I speak to business professionals, they constantly complain that the demands on their time are overwhelming.  Working moms are struggling to juggle all they do for their jobs, homes and children.  Entrepreneurs are often squeezing in networking, new business opportunities, day-to-day operations, and time for family, friends and self-care. It's time for getting assistance with a personal life coach NJ!

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Is Anyone Having Fun Anymore?

Way too many people seem exhausted, overwhelmed, guilty, resentful, and frankly, just plain frustrated. Or are we all so busy trying to be all things to all people, that time for fun, relaxation and rest are at a minimum?  Are you ready to decrease the stress and simplify your life?
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Learning to Say NO

If the answer is a resounding “Yes,” it may be as easy to accomplish as learning to say “No.”  Why is it that such a simple word is often so difficult to say?  We would like to believe that we could do it all, have it all and be the one others can always count on.  However, we need to be realistic about what we can and cannot accomplish and what is and isn’t important to us.

"NO is one of the best words in the English language." - Rev. Diana Lynn, AEH

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Tips For Saying NO

It’s human nature to want to say “yes” to requests and invitations we receive.  After all, if they are kind enough to ask us, isn’t it impolite or even selfish to say ”no”?  Not necessarily.  Saying “no” is actually honoring your current commitments and being realistic about what will keep you happy and sane.

So if you find your days overflowing with activities or jobs you are not enjoying, or you are not advancing in the direction you would like to be in your career, dreams and life purpose, try some Tips to Gracefully Say No Without Feeling Selfish.
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1.   Take some time to evaluate the request before giving your answer.  Simply say, “I need some time to see if I can fit this into my schedule, so I’ll have to get back to you.”  Do a cost-benefit analysis.  How much time will this take and do you have the time to do it well?  Is this something you’ll feel good about doing, or will saying yes lead to an increase in stress and resentment?

2.   Trust your gut and intuition.  If you get a slightly sick feeling in your stomach when you think about the request, chances are it’s something you really don’t want to do, or don’t have the time for.  If the request sends a bolt of energy and excitement through you, chances are it’s something you’ll enjoy and benefit from saying yes to.

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3.   Be firm.  If the answer is “no,” say so.  Don’t give a wishy-washy answer.  Saying, “I don’t think so,” or “Maybe...” implies that you might change your mind and say yes later.  That will lead to more stress when the request comes a second or third time.

4.   Give a brief explanation without being overly apologetic.  The simpler the better.  “Thanks for thinking of me, but I have too much on my plate right now.”

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5.   Be respectful.  “I admire what you are doing/ I know this is a really worthy cause, however, I am involved in too many other things right now to take this on.”

6.   Be honest.  Making up a long winded story or reason why you need to say no will not make anyone feel better about your response, and may very possibly lead to you looking insincere or even like a liar.

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7.   Say “yes” to something you can feel good about.  If the job or cause is something you value and care about, but the time required is too great, perhaps there is a compromise.  You may not be able to be on the planning committee for your school’s award ceremony, but you might be able to help out the evening of the event.

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8.   If the request is coming from your boss or supervisor, clarify the priorities.  If saying yes to one more work project will keep you at the office all night, ask for clarification of your priorities.  Simply explain that saying yes to this request will take time away from your other responsibilities, and ask which is the higher priority.  Chances are your boss is unaware of how much you are already handling, and will delegate some of the work to another employee.

Article written by Ellen G. Goldman, M.Ed.

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