The word, no. Only two letters long and doesn't seem very intimidating when written...but when you try to say it... We get choked up, feel instantly guilty or can’t even say it.
No has become one of the hardest words for us to say.
It’s been driven into us that this word is mean. It’s meant to hurt others or take away something. We’ve come to believe that saying no is actually wrong, that when we say it we’re missing out or letting someone down.
No, no, no. No is not a dirty word. Not only does it not possess more than two letters, but it’s not negative either! No, can be incredibly positive. In fact, the word NO can be completely life changing.
Why are we so afraid to tell someone no?
I’m certain there’s miles of psychology studies that help explain this fear of saying no, but let’s not focus on the fear of it. Let’s focus on why it’s good. Let’s focus on its importance.
This simple but mighty word definitely holds a lot of weight, and we have the right to use it to our benefit and the benefit of others.
A simple example would be, if a child tries to stick their fingers into an electrical socket, you say no! Don’t do that.
You say no to protect the child. They could get electrocuted! This is an easy no, clearly for safety reasons and to benefit the well-being of someone else. This is a positive no.
Another example could be that your friend wants to see the latest chop ‘em up terror feature film, that’s not your jam, so you say no.
You say no to protect yourself and others around you. You don’t particularly feel like being ill today...and other people will appreciate it as well. This is a positive no.
A third example is this, someone asks you to do your work for free or for a discount but expects the same amount of work out of you...you say…???
This is where most people falter. This is where we become afraid to say no. We’re afraid to say no in this situation because of just that, we’re afraid. We’re afraid we won’t get any business. We’re afraid that the other person may go around bad mouthing us if we don’t say yes. We’re afraid because we need to make money. We’re afraid because we don’t want to be seen as the bad guy. We’re afraid of disappointing, missing out and being perceived as mean or uncaring.
But the truth is, saying no is a good thing.
It builds confidence. Helps you choose the right things for you. Helps eliminate burnout, overwhelm and bitterness. It creates trust and clearly defines your point of view and mission. And, as a side note, saying no actually drives up sales!
Saying no does the exact opposite of what our fears tell us it will do.
There is strength in saying no, and I want to take a moment to tell you today that if you struggle with saying the word no, you can do it! It doesn’t make you a bad person. It won’t wreck your life. You won’t miss out on money. You don’t have to sacrifice time with your family or take less pay than you deserve. You can say no and still remain a good person, a smart and savvy person and a genuinely caring person!
Here’s the deal, only you can know when it’s appropriate to say yes or no. But the best way to determine the answer, is gauging how you feel about the situation. If you are head over heels totally a-okay with the situation and would be more than happy to say yes without regret - than by all means, you go for it! Say yes.
But, if you feel taken advantage of, bitter or angry at the situation. If you’re dreading doing it and wouldn’t be able to commit to it with a joyful heart, say no.
The best way to be giving is not by saying yes all the time. I’m a HUGE believer in giving. I was raised in a household where we give and share and help others, but, I was also taught that it’s okay to say no. Just because everyone else is doing something, doesn’t mean you have to.
Story time with Brianne:
You see, I knew and hung out with several people growing up who liked to drink. They would sneak booze into their backpacks and have parties after school, etc… I liked these guys. I hung out with them. They would offer me alcohol....and I would say no. I was the “goody-two-shoes” the “prude” the “stick-in-the-mud” and I was also respected. I actually never even had a first drink until I was 24. I waited until I felt comfortable. I said yes, when it finally felt right to me.
Now, this story might seem like it’s off topic from saying no to a client, but it’s not. Clients, potential clients or even family and friends can pile on the peer pressure, making you feel as though you should be saying yes to their requests of you, even when you’d rather say no.
There’s a time and a place for everything, but the point is this...when you say no in business, for the right reasons, you’re actually furthering your reach. You’re making room for your ideal clients who won’t ask that of you. You’re setting boundaries (which are essential to running a successful business). You’re creating, establishing and maintaining trust because saying no is hard! Saying no to opportunity, even harder. But you see, saying no to a bum deal is just good business.
So tell me, do you struggle with saying no? What are your steps to combat that fear and say it anyway?