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The Importance of Saying No

Not too sure what the importance of saying no is all about? For many people saying “no” becomes something that can be foreign. And as many have found, this can actually have a negative impact on business. If, as the founder, you have stretched yourself too thin by saying “yes” over and over again, you are not able to realise your leadership potential to its fullest. Dale Beaumont interviewed Jennifer Jefferies, in this segment from that interview you will find out the importance of saying no.

Today Jennifer speaks to corporations throughout Australia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, the United States, Europe and New Zealand. She is the author of 7 Steps to Sanity and seven other health-related titles which are sold throughout the world, and have been translated into four languages.

Why is it so important for people to learn to say ‘no’?

Most of us are our own worst enemies when it comes to saying ‘yes’ to everything that is asked of us. I can’t tell you the number of people that I have treated over the years who felt overloaded, fatigued and resentful for having been put in situations where they’ve had to do things that they either didn’t want to do or didn’t have time to do.

  • The reality is that you create this situation by saying ‘yes’ when you should have said ‘no’. You choose to forgo your own needs rather than having the courage to say ‘no’. You choose to accept being overloaded rather than risk being thought of as selfish or inconsiderate. But have you ever thought about how unfair it is to say ‘yes’ to someone and then feel angry at them for it? If you are going to say ‘yes’, you need to mean it, get your head around it and get on with it. If you are saying ‘yes’ but meaning ‘no’ then you are heading into trouble.
  • There are enough stressors in life without creating new ones for yourself every time you are too afraid to say ‘no’. No one likes to disappoint or let anyone down, but in life it’s a reality – the only question is whether you will choose to always let yourself down by never letting anyone else down.
  • It’s time to show some respect for yourself and to start saying ‘no’. It doesn’t mean that you are selfish or don’t care. It demonstrates that you understand your limits and are realistic about what can be achieved given your time, resources and capabilities. Respectfully saying ‘no’ shows others that you are not willing to disappoint their expectations by promising more than you can give.
  • We also have to learn to say ‘no’ to ourselves when we’re not acting in our own best interests. You might have experienced the ‘I’ll just finish this one thing’ syndrome, where you become so single-minded about your work that you neglect to look after the other areas of your life.

It usually strikes after 5pm on a weekday and every time you think, ‘I’ll just finish this one thing’ another hour slides by with you still sitting at your desk – then you grab something fast and fattening to eat, decide it’s too late to go to the gym or that you’re too tired to catch up with friends as planned and the ‘poor me’ behaviours begin to creep in. Negative emotions like ‘poor me’ suck the life out of you. It is generally unnecessary fear that stops us saying ‘no’.

To find more of this incredible interview, check out the book “Secrets of Inspiring Women Exposed!” by Dale Beaumont.