Do people say to you… “Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way! Start saying no and stop feeling like you’re being taken advantage of!”
There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there when it comes to decision making, especially when those decisions involve saying yes or no to other people.
When is it a good idea to say YES?
Think about your situation and ask yourself these questions:
- Will saying yes lead to new, exciting opportunities that align with your own personal or business goals?
- Does the thought of saying yes scare you a bit? Do you need a nudge to get you out of your comfort zone?
- Have you been looking for change or something to get you out of a rut? Do you feel like this opportunity will energize you?
When is it a good idea to say NO?
- Is it an opportunity that isn’t aligned with your goals or core values?
- Does the thought of saying yes and working with this particular person or people make you feel drained?
- Will it be a one-way street? Ask yourself, what do you get from this relationship? This could mean developing your skills, experience, network, making money or other positive results.
What does your gut tell you?
These questions should help you work out what your gut instinct is telling you. Make sure you focus on how you feel when you think about saying yes to someone. If you feel drained, it’s probably your gut telling you that this person or people will zap all your energy!
Don’t let fear drive your decision-making
Make sure you don’t confuse your instinct with fear. This might take a bit of time and thought to unravel but it’s important. Saying yes or no out of fear means you’re in a negative mindset. You’re avoiding risk, uncomfortable situations and staying in your comfort zone. This way of thinking is not going to help you achieve your goals.
I’ve had a few points in my life where I’ve chosen to follow my intuition rather than my fear and it’s paid off. Back when I was studying for a postgraduate degree, I decided to take some time out from my course. I hated my classes and the work, I felt like I wasn’t learning as much as I would while working and I felt drained, uninspired and unmotivated.
Fear told me to power through. Keep going otherwise what will employers say? What will my family and friends say? Not completing the course means I’ve failed.
Instead, I said yes to an opportunity to work in The Netherlands for 3 months. I’d never lived abroad before and I also got to learn about a whole new area of work that has influenced me in many different ways. It also looks great on my CV and unexpectedly – my dating profiles!
I eventually came back home and decided to leave the postgraduate course for good. The thought of completely the final few modules drains the energy out of my body even now! I moved back to my home city, spent some time working on my mental health and personal development. Then I found The Simplifiers!
No one cares that I left my course before I achieved my Masters degree. I’ve only ever had people tell me that they’re impressed that I was smart and brave enough to know when something isn’t working and that I made changes to put myself in the situation I wanted to be in.
Ok, so if I’m being totally truthful, my Dad wasn’t super happy, but he got over it! He was just reacting out of fear because he wanted to make sure I wasn’t ruining my career opportunities.
Luckily it turns out that the CEO of The Simplifiers – Mary thinks my ability to write blog posts, find new opportunities and problem solve is much more important than the letters I have after my name.
I said no to staying on the path I was on and I said yes to the opportunities that were right for me.
Resources we recommend:
- How to stop making decisions out of fear – a blog post by Chiara Mazz
- Say No to Say Yes – TEDx talk by Dr. Caryn Aviv
- This episode of The Simplifiers podcast featuring Kim Sutton – sharing simple, practical tips on productivity:
Have you listened to our latest podcast episode? Our CEO – Mary Baird-Wilcock, CSEP helps you simplify in life and in business.