Learn To Be Comfortable Saying ‘No’ Or You Won’t Be Available To Say ‘Yes’ When It Really Matters

curated from Forbes

“It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” – Steve Jobs

Saying “No” can be awkward, uncomfortable, and downright difficult.

Let’s face it, it feels good to be needed, so the last thing we want is for people to stop needing us because we say “No” to them.

so I sat down and made a list of ways to help me know when to say “No”.

1. Set boundaries and stick with them. No exceptions.

Everyone has to determine what their set boundaries will be for their own life, but whatever they are I would advise that once you set them it is imperative that you never allow them to be broken.

2. Just because you have an opening on your calendar doesn’t mean you have to fill it.

The reality is that there are plenty of things you need to get done that don’t require a scheduled appointment, so consider those blank spaces on your calendar as invisible scheduled appointments for working on your to-do list.

3. Don’t answer immediately.

Ask for time to look at your schedule or time to evaluate your existing to-do list so you can step away and really think through if this is something you should take on or not.

4. Ask yourself if saying “Yes” is really the right thing to do.

Things come at us fast and furious and we often get caught up doing “stuff” that isn’t helping us progress toward our goals, so really consider whether taking this new assignment on will bring you closer to achieving your goals.

5. You’re not doing someone a favor if you say “Yes” to something you don’t have the capacity for.

There are often things we would be willing to do, or feel obligated to do, or that we may even want to do, but before we say yes we really need to check where the request would fall on our existing list of prioritized items.

6. Consider asking to modify the scope of what is being asked for.

Keep in mind that the overly difficult requests usually stem from a lack of understanding that can easily be rectified with a little communication when it is done in a respectful way.

7. Give people the right instruction when you are Out of Office.


Saying “No” may never feel good, but I guarantee that being available to say “Yes” when it really matters will!

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