“No is the foundation that we can build our yes on.” -Seth Godin
Contrary to what we believe, by saying “yes” to everything, we don’t create value. We create stress. For ourselves. For our teams. We don’t deliver our best work. We deliver our work under the gun. Doing this day in, day out is exhausting. We operate out of a place of fear, or passivity. We ultimately feel that we are powerless. It “out there” is happening to us.
Overworked clients often come in seeking to understand how to manage their time or their energy. More often, they have experienced a new success. They find themselves straddling their old role and their new one. They are not only doing their “old job” tasks, but taking on new ones. They agree to do it all in the name of getting the job done. Perhaps they are under fear of losing their jobs or perhaps not knowing quite how to rearrange their new roles.
What would it be like to say “no” or “yes” from a place that taps into our creativity – our sense of purpose? To feel we are at choice to accept or reject? What if it “in here” was really happening out there? What if we get to powerfully decide what would serve ourselves and our teams best? And what if saying “no” actually honors that decision. How to remember what we want in the midst of being asked? This is where you get to decide if you are powerful to create what you want.
Three Questions to Ask Yourself: 1. Am I feeling powerful or powerless in making this decision? 2. Will this help create what I want? 3. Am I willing to take responsibility for what will happen?
In our coaching, we often ask clients, “By saying no, what are you saying yes to?” We’re asking for their powerful, inner commitment to themselves.