“Learn how to say no. Don’t let your mouth overload your back.” The late business philosopher Jim Rohn warned that we over commit ourselves when we say yes to too many opportunities.
It sounds selfish to say no to people and to worthy causes. We are all good at many things but only great at a few things. When you say yes to many good things, there is little time or energy left for the great things, the things you were created to do.
Before you say yes, consider if you should say no.
1. Saying yes to anything means saying no to something else. Thinking about joining a group or helping a friend plan a wedding? Understand that when you add something to your schedule, you must move something off your schedule even temporarily. Before you commit to the new activity, force yourself to consider if the new activity is more important than what you will stop doing if you accept a new commitment.
2. Most people need time to figure things out for themselves. When we rush in to help someone, we often deprive that person of the important exercise of figuring things out for herself. For instance, a couple of years ago, an acquaintance asked me to review two chapters of a book that she started writing. I reviewed the chapters and told her she should finish the book. Next, she asked me to edit the two chapters. I refused. Apparently, writing the book was not that important to her because she hasn’t said anything else to me about it. She figured out on her own that completing the book was not a priority. Sometimes, the best way to help someone is to allow her to use the resources she has to solve her problems.
3. Quick decisions can have long-term, negative consequences. Have you ever been offered a great opportunity but “something” told you to say no? Don’t ever ignore your instincts. If someone is pressuring you to start doing something or to buy something, just slow down and give it serious consideration. Usually, if a business deal is a great option today, it will be a great option in a few days when you have seriously considered it.
Slow down. It’s okay to say, “let me think about it”. Better an immediate no than a regretted yes.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said yes to?