I have trouble saying “no”.  And I know I’m not alone in that boat! (Right?)

Many of us have trouble saying “no”. And while we may be very aware of that and are working to change. The mere thought of having to say “no” for fear of disappointing someone or missing out on something can fill us with anxiety.

You may know you should say “no” but uttering those words and trying to find the right way to phrase it can prove to be very difficult. So difficult, that “no” may never be said.

What if you said “yes” instead?

When you live your life guided by what’s really important to you, your values, your passions, your interests, your life’s work, you establish a litmus test to which you can measure opportunities and requests against.  So when something comes up and doesn’t align with what’s really important to you, you can say “no” to that option and say “yes” to your values, your priorities, to your life’s work, the stuff that really matters.

Saying “yes” to what really matters, will by default say “no” to what doesn’t.

It even works in those cases when an opportunity is a good one.  For example, my friend Tara had invited me to do a Brene Brown course with her. You may already know this about me, just in case, let it be said that I love the work of Brene Brown.  I’ve done some of her courses before.  In fact, this latest course caught my attention in my own inbox.  However, I also knew I already had a lot on my plate.  Between my daughter who was only 3 months at the time, and some work initiatives I really wanted to get started on, I knew that the course would probably absorb what little time I did have available, taking my focus away from my current priorities. I knew myself well enough to know that I would love doing the course so much that I would procrastinate on other things, especially those new work initiatives.

The timing just wasn’t right.  I knew this in my heart but I battled internally. I didn’t want to say no for fear of disappointing my friend and for fear of missing out.  What if the course is never offered again?  By the way, anytime fear is presenting this way, you may be seeing things from a scarcity mindset.

In the end, I said “yes” to giving my focus and attention to the two areas that were most important to me at the time, my family and these new work initiatives.  Tara was not disappointed in me, in fact we ended up working closely together.  I even asked her to join me in my new work initiatives. I’m hopeful the course will be offered again but if not, I know there will be other opportunities in the future.  I am so happy with the advancement of my work initiatives that I haven’t once regretted not doing the course.

So instead of focusing on what you are saying “no” to, focus on what you are saying “yes” to.  Are you saying “yes” to what matters most to you?

Not sure what matter’s most to you?  Take the free values assessment to begin the journey to understanding your life priorities.

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