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Career lions

Saying no

Saying no

No - [noh] - adverb.

1.(a negative used to express dissent, denial, or refusal, as in response to a question or request)

2. (used to emphasize or introduce a negative statement):

Not a single person came to the party, no, not a one.

3. not in any degree or manner; not at all (used with a comparative):

He is no better.

Two letters, one word, “no”. Saying no sounds so simple, but I seem to have a bit of trouble putting this to practice. To remind myself and help you too along the way, here are the five methods that have helped me most with saying no!

Freedom through commitment

Recently, I’ve read Mark Manson’s The subtle art of not giving a f*ck. He claims that saying no can be made easier, once you’ve committed to certain goals or parts of life that are most important to you. For me, at the moment that is making sure I’m well rested and heal from the accident. By committing to certain parts of your life, you’ll be able to refuse options that don’t add value to your personal commitments, which is liberating. I definitely do not feel sorry declining going to a party to sleep, since I’ve committed to rest more! So even before you have to say yes or no to anything, decide for yourself what you’re committed to and are willing to decline other things for.

Personal Policies

Sometimes it is hard to say no to certain events or activities, I had this struggle with birthday parties. I’m not a fan of them, but I always find it hard to decline one from people in my inner circle. Sarah Knight proposes to make it a personal policy that you won’t attend some things. This way, there will not even be room for discussion and it won’t be personal, because hey, it’s policy. Sarah Knight elaborates more on this part of her NotSorry method in her book, The life-changing magic of not giving a f*ck.

Do it for yourself and nobody else

Chapter Friday’s Yara Michels was hosting a #Girlboss session that we were attending. This lady has multiple full time jobs and even took on another one of being the head editor of Linda Meiden, a popular Dutch magazine. The only way she was able to do so was because she turned down many other offers prior to this. During the #Girlboss session I was able to ask her how she says no and these were her main considerations:

  1. Is this going to make me happy?
  2. What is in it for me that makes me want to do it? Is it a good opportunity? Is it financially interesting? Is it a unique place to go to?
  3. Will this positively contribute to my career?
  4. Am I really doing this for myself and nobody else?

Hell yeah or no

Derek Sivers has a very simple way to decide whether to say “yes”. Never say yes, it’s always a “HELL YEAH” or simple “no” and nothing in between.

How to say no to Tim Ferriss

For his latest book, Tribe of Mentors, Tim Ferriss asked 130 world class performers to participate and answer a few questions. While a lot of them accepted the offer, there were a few that friendly rejected. These rejections were so good, Ferriss decided to include them in the book anyways as a tool to get better at saying no. The common parts in these rejections are: staying friendly and thanking for the offer and explaining that you’ve come to this decision after careful consideration. Ow and let’s be real here. If, somewhere in the far future, Tim Ferriss asks me be to featured in his book, I will definitely NOT decline (I will gracefully accept the offer while whiping away the little tear in the inner corner of my eye).

So that’s it! These were my five ways to get better at saying no. What are your tips to get better at declining? Make sure to share in the comments below. Oh, and ironically we’re not taking no for an answer this time.

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