We live in a culture of saying ‘Yes’ all the time. We see yes as a tool to open doors to opportunities that we otherwise couldn’t have. Yes means that we are willing to put ourselves out there and get things done.Saying yes shows that you like an idea, and it seems to make sense at the time. Simply put, saying ‘Yes’ feels good.
But giving everything a big fat ‘Yes’ can lead to some big negatives over time. Wasted time, energy, or even money doing all kinds of things that don’t contribute to anything we want to accomplish. Most of the time when we say yes, it’s to someone else’s agenda. Unless we make sure it’s mutually beneficial, saying yes does not always get us more.
That’s why saying no isn’t a negative action but instead empowers you to get more out of anything that you do. Saying no can be a gateway, a doorway of opportunity if you do it right.
Here are 3 ways saying no can turn into a positive outcome:
1. You gain respect
Saying no can be a difficult experience for some of us. It’s natural to want to please people and have things go smoothly. Saying yes is agreeable and easy on the surface. But a no can do just as much to a relationship or project, if not more.
We sometimes confuse yes with wanting to get what needs to be done and then associate no with being difficult or holding things up. This changes when you make your no about being more effective. Get clear about what needs to happen. Really think about what you are being asked to do or about, and then see if saying yes is the best option.
If it’s not, saying no now, becomes less about turning someone down and more about getting things accomplished, which builds respect from everyone involved.
“Saying ‘yes’ to one thing means saying ‘no’ to another. That’s why decisions can be hard sometimes.” – Sean Covey
2. You can start a two-way discussion
Saying ‘No’ doesn’t always need to be a lost opportunity or closing a door, it can be a gain of any number of things. Often when we are given an option to say yes or no to something it’s because we are being approached in a one-way discussion. With a simple ‘No, however…’ you open the door to start a two-way discussion now.
This gives you the power and ability to create an opportunity for all parties involved, depending on how creative you get with the discussion. You create space to focus on what’s most important both for you and whoever else is involved.
3. You gain time and sanity
Lastly, the biggest gain of freedom by saying no would be the gain of time and sanity. Saying no doesn’t just give your more physical time or ability to focus, but instead the means to devote your time on what matters most.
This is a compound effect, so you get more out of what you do with your time. Since you aren’t doing multiple unrelated things, you can get down and dirty with what deserves your focus. This leads to bigger and better results in less time on it’s own.
“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.” – John C. Maxwell
No is often looked at as if it’s a negative thing, but it doesn’t have to be. No is just setting a boundary of time, space, and focus. It also allows you to start a discussion and get on the same page. If anything, no opens doors that allow you and others to get what needs to be done accomplished.
So say no more, for the sake of your own time and sanity as well as others. See where no takes you and how it can be truly leveraged to give you freedom.