After reading Michael Hyatt’s post, “5 Reasons Why You Need to Get Better at Saying ‘No.,’” I realized I need to re-evaluate my own difficulty saying “No.” For the past 3 years, while I have had a lot of free time between contract jobs, I have gone to a lot of meetings, networking events, workshops, and training opportunities. I have enjoyed everything that I have gone to, but I started to find myself over-committing. My calender was filling up with events that had no connection with my set goal: connecting with individuals and organizations that have an emphasis on faith-based counseling/coaching/mentoring to business and professional people. I then looked at why it’s so hard for me to say “No.” Here is a list I came up with:
1) I found myself with a a lot of free time.
For a number of you who are either unemployed or have been unemployed, you know what it’s like to have free time on your hands. You want to get out of the house and just feel productive. This is where I started to network with people that have the same interests, work in the same industry, or could give me advice. This is what you’re supposed to do; however, the problem arose when I started accepting all invitations without watching how they filled my schedule.You need to prioritize to make sure you are meeting with the individuals and events that is most important to your needs.
2) I want to please everyone.
In my mind, I believe that everyone’s opinion of me is important, so when they ask me to meet with them or to do something for them, I have to say, “Yes.” If I say, “No,” what will they think of me? “Of course I can fit you in my schedule.” The problem with “fitting you in my schedule” is that it either moves into a spot I already have filled for another appointment or I start to fill up time I need to be spending on more essential things, like my family or activities that more closely fit with my goals. I even found myself neglecting rest.
3) I’m afraid to say “No” because I might lose an opportunity.
If I say “No,” then the individual may not trust me in the future. He or she might think I’m not dependable. What if I do want to meet this person because I feel he or she can help me? So, I decide I need to make it work. I go ahead and set up a time when I have another appointment scheduled at the same time. I just call the first person to reschedule. But, I just traded one scheduling problem for the other, and I devalued my first appointment.
I need to start learning how to say “No” because like, Michael Hyatt pointed out in his fifth point, “We won’t be able to say ‘yes’ to the really important things.” I see myself getting frustrated a lot because my calender is already full.