It can be hard to say no, both because we want to accommodate people and also because we are sometimes insecure about standing up for our own priorities. (Tweet it!) Consequently, we can end up taking on too much, and perhaps avoiding people we fear will ask us to do more.
But Chikodi Chima, a former VentureBeat staff reporter who helps startups with their public relations and marketing, contends that saying no is saying yes to freedom. “Having the confidence and foresight to say no makes you stand out. When you have clear goals, it’s easier to say no.” (https://bit.ly/2IiB6dX) Chima quotes Steve Jobs as an example of someone who used the power of “no” wisely. “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done,” Jobs said at the 1997 Worldwide Developers Conference. “Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
Sure, we want to be liked and we don't want to offend. But in the end, don’t we also want to do what we truly believe in? If so, then “no” is one of they keys to success, says Chima. “The more clear our goals become, the easier and more powerful each no becomes. Saying ‘no’ takes practice, and it may backfire, but to me it’s the ultimate sign of maturity.”
When was the last time you said no to someone else so you could pursue what mattered more to you? How did that experience turn out? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion