The Power of No

dv2171020What was your choice for the conundrum I presented in last week’s message? Will you join the organization or tell your friend“no”?

No – such a small word with such big impact. When you hear “no” how do you describe it? A disappointment? Discouragement? Denial? Negativity? Relief?

For most of us “no” is a hard word to take and sometimes even a harder word to deliver. Yet the ability to say no can give us the greatest opportunity.

How is that so? When you say “yes” you are automatically choosing against something else. When you say “yes” to joining your friend’s organization, you are taking away the opportunity to say “yes” to something else. That might be just fine if the organization fits your needs and you have something to contribute. If it doesn’t, then you are denying yourself the opportunity to say yes to something better.

This is not about better-dealing. It is about the choices we all face and they are not always easy. It can be very difficult to discern between a good choice, a better choice and a great choice. Adding to the conundrum is that not all opportunities present themselves at the same time. So a good choice might be very appealing with no competing opportunities. So how do you “hold out” for the great choices and opportunities?

First, start by getting very clear on your purpose, whether for your eating choices or your business. The choice to join that networking group or not, gets far easier when you know just who your Ideal Client is and what connections can lead you to them.

Second, practice saying “no”. Start with something simple, perhaps a conference call or meeting that doesn’t require your participation. It is easy to “accept” a meeting on your calendar for a future date when nothing else is scheduled at that time. If your presence is not required, click “decline” and leave the space open for an opportunity that fits and furthers your purpose. If you wonder why you never have time for the “purposeful” items on your calendar, practice “no” and see if it doesn’t improve.

Finally, persist. You may…no, you will encounter resistance to “no”. It will be your own resistance as well as push back from others. What I have found personally and in my work with clients is that more resistance comes from self than others. Respect from others increases when we say “no”. See if your own self-respect doesn’t get a boost as well when you say “no”.

P.S. You are making change here and will encounter resistance. Check out this book to overcome it.

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