The word NO is not just a word, it is a whole sentence in itself. Even though, saying ‘No’ is considered to be a negative thing, saying it in certain situations is imperative. Saying ‘NO’ to someone shows that you know your worth and you are not intimidated to go after what you want and completely deserve. If you constantly say yes to everything and everyone, it will be very easy for people to exploit and take advantage of you.
It was obvious they were offering me a dead-end job, not a career opportunity. They thought I was going to jump at the chance to work for them, but they were in for a rude awakening. “No Thank You. I appreciate you thinking of me but I don’t believe I am the right candidate for your needs.” Just like that, I said, “NO.” It was a revelation.
Some people thought I was crazy for turning down the secure salary to continue forging my own path as an entrepreneur. When they asked me why I didn’t take the position I would simply say, “why to say ‘Yes’ when you can say ‘No’.” Most didn’t know how to react to my declaration, looking at me with concern and worry wondering if I had lost my mind, while others seemed intrigued.
Saying ‘No’ is your best defense against imbalance, burnout, and exploitation. It may sound counter-intuitive but it’s true. Sadly, ‘No’ is an extremely undervalued tool with immense power. The correct use of a strategic ‘No’ can be the difference between elevating yourself to the next level OR allowing yourself to get caught up in a situation that drains you.
Ultimately if you protect yourself, you protect your power.
Here are 4 reasons why saying ‘No’ is the ultimate power move:
1. “No” Creates A Boundary.
Everyone needs healthy boundaries. Those boundaries need to be clearly defined and easy to identify. When you say ‘Yes’ all the time those boundaries become undefined & blurry. People will begin to assume that no matter what they ask you will always say ‘Yes’. Being thought of as a ‘Yes’ man is highly disadvantageous because it is easy for people to unintentionally take advantage of you since they know you will agree to whatever they ask.
A well-thought-out ‘No’ protects you from having the unchecked needs of others foisted on you at a moment’s notice. It is not your responsibility to fulfill everyone else’s needs. Remembering you have ‘No’ at your disposal will empower you to honor your boundaries.
2. “No” States Your Position.
Sometimes trying to politely decline doesn’t work. You could do your best to use flowery language to communicate that you are not interested, but fail to be heard. Understandably, you may hesitate to use the power of ‘No’ because you’re afraid of being perceived as rude or aggressive. However, it is your responsibility to truthfully state your position with confidence especially if you are not interested in the opportunity presented.
“NO” is a complete sentence. It does not require an explanation to follow. You can truly answer someone’s request with a simple No.” – Sharon E. Rainey
In many cases, the only thing you can say that will accurately communicate your disinterest in an opportunity is ‘No’. In a business negotiation, ‘No’ establishes your position and underscores your non-negotiables. In life ‘No’ voids an entire set of options, and narrows your trajectory. Arriving at these ‘Nos’ can be liberating because they are grounded in the invaluable data you collected from considering all the possible benefits and drawbacks of saying ‘Yes’.
When you give yourself permission to evaluate an opportunity through the lens of ‘No’ it is easier to examine the full spectrum of possibilities good & bad. Whereas, when you evaluate an opportunity through the lens of ‘Yes’ the examination can be skewed towards identifying only the positives associated with the choice.