It was obvious they were offering me a dead end job, not a career opportunity. They thought I was going to jump at the chance to work for them, but they were in for a rude awakening. “No Thank You. I appreciate you thinking of me but I don’t believe I am the right candidate for your needs.” Just like that I said, “NO.” It was a revelation.
Some people thought I was crazy for turning down the secure salary to continue forging my own path as an entrepreneur. When they asked me why I didn’t take the position I would simply say, “why say ‘Yes’ when you can say ‘No’.” Most didn’t know how to react to my declaration, looking at me with concern and worry wondering if I had lost my mind, while others seemed intrigued.
Saying ‘No’ is your best defense against imbalance, burnout, and exploitation. It may sound counter intuitive but its true. Sadly, ‘No’ is an extremely undervalued tool with immense power. The correct use of a strategic ‘No’ can be the difference between elevating yourself to the next level OR allowing yourself to get caught up in a situation that drains you.
Ultimately if you protect yourself, you protect your power. Here are 4 reason why saying ‘No’ is the ultimate power move:
“No” Creates A Boundary
Everyone needs healthy boundaries. Those boundaries need to be clearly defined and easy to identify. When you say ‘Yes’ all the time those boundaries become undefined & blurry. People will begin to assume that no matter what they ask you will always say ‘Yes’. Being thought of as a ‘Yes’ man is highly disadvantageous because it is easy for people to unintentionally take advantage of you, since they know you will agree to whatever they ask.
A well thought out ‘No’ protects you from having the unchecked needs of others foisted on you at a moments notice. It is not your responsibility to fulfill everyone else’s needs. Remembering you have ‘No’ at your disposal will empower you to honor your boundaries.
“No” States Your Position
Sometimes trying to politely decline doesn’t work. You could do your best to use flowery language to communicate that you are not interested, but fail to be heard. Understandably, you may hesitate to use the power of ‘No’ because your afraid of being perceived as rude or aggressive. However, it is your responsibility to truthfully state your position with confidence especially if you are not interested in the opportunity presented.
In many cases the only thing you can say that will accurately communicate your disinterest in an opportunity is ‘No’. In a business negotiation ‘No’ establishes your position and underscores your non-negotiables. In life ‘No’ voids an entire set of options, and narrows your trajectory. Arriving at these ‘Nos’ can be liberating because they are grounded in the invaluable data you collected from considering all the possible benefits and drawbacks of saying ‘Yes’.
When you give yourself permission to evaluate an opportunity through the lens of ‘No’ it is easier to examine the full spectrum of possibilities good & bad. Whereas, when you evaluate an opportunity through the lens of ‘Yes’ the examination can be skewed towards identifying only of the positives associated with the choice.
‘No’ Gives You Leverage
Anytime you employ the strategic power of ‘No’ you are at an advantage. You know what someone else needs and the urgency with which they wish to have that need met. You are then given an opportunity to leverage what you know to your benefit, by presenting them with an alternative that is mutually beneficial. ‘No’ gives you time to evaluate the best way for you to say ‘Yes,’ putting you in control.
‘No’ Protects You From Yourself
Everyone wants to be liked, but at what cost? Always Saying ‘yes’ to your Boss, Partner, Children, and Friends is a one way ticket to resentment-town. Saying ‘yes’ all the time creates an unsustainable dynamic in your relationships that causes an energetic imbalance. As the Yogi’s say you need to “Drink as you Pour.” It is unsustainable to be in constant service of others with out pausing to be in service to yourself. In order to put yourself first you have to stop saying ‘YES’ to everything.
Saying ‘No’ is both an act of compassion for others and individual self-preservation.
Ultimately saying ‘No’ is a critical asset on your success journey.
Knowing how and when to assert yourself is an art. One must practice employing the power of ‘No’ in order to gain comfort and confidence. Even though collaboration and cooperation are essential to our collective success, that doesn’t mean you have to dance every time the band plays.
Not every opportunity is a good one. Mastering the strategic use of ‘No’ requires a basic level of self-awareness and a desire to evaluate every opportunity that presents itself. If you are willing to slow down your process to engage in this act of intentional evaluation it can revolutionize the way you approach business & life.
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Awilda Rivera is a Success Coach, Author, Yogi & Spiritual Advisor. She empowers Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers & Millennials to use the power of self-determination to redefine and achieve success on their own terms. Read the first chapter of her book SUCCESS MATH: A Millenial’s Qualitative Approach for free and get inspired! Visit www.AwildaRivera.com to sign up for her mailing list to stay in the know!