We are hardwired to help others in whatever way we can. Our natural capacity for thinking about others is what has given us the success rates we see today to date.
There is an isiZulu saying which says, “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu”. It is roughly translated as, “You are who you are because of people.”
It should be noted that while we are on the quest towards achieving massively in our lives, we will be taxed on our journey by requests from a slew of people about this, that and the other thing.
The onus is on you to pick the requests you can fulfil. The truth is you cannot fulfil all requests from people. At times there are just some badly timed requests that would clash with your current focal points.
At other times it could be that you are incredibly swamped and cannot add another load into it your already full basket.
Saying ‘no’ should not be frowned upon. We have been conditioned to say ‘yes’ more than we say ‘no.’ While that in and of itself is not a bad thing for the most part, at times you are compelled to decline certain offers/requests if they don’t align with your schedule/interest.
Would you rather be honest about being fully swamped and decline a request or would you want to take on the request while knowing quite clearly at the back of your mind that you are already engaged with other tasks?
It is important, especially when rendering services for others, to do so in the best possible way, high quality a standard to uphold and with utmost diligence and conscientiousness. Tell me now, how will you do all three factors with a thousand other tasks awaiting your attention?
At times it is best to decline. If you know that by taking on more than you can handle at a time,you will find yourself slacking, then don’t take on more than what you currently have. Finish what you have and then take on more. Honour your requests by being fully attentive.
Of course the power of ‘no’ transcends to one’s personal life in addition to professional life. When you realise that a friend is asking for a favour and you realise that you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing what is asked of you, instead of agreeing and beating yourself up about it later, declining would be a better choice.
The thing is, if at any point you are uncomfortable about doing something, it is always wise to do what’s best for you and saying ‘no’ could save you from unnecessary stress.
I should say that generally friends and family come first in our lives and we try as much and as far as possible to help them out when we can.
But…it is not always ideal to be the ‘yes’ person. Sometimes you just have to prioritize your commitments that will maximise usage of your time and if at any point you feel like you can’t do something requested by a friend or acquaintance then you have a right to say ‘no.’
‘No’ does not make you look bad. You cannot be the person who does everything for everyone. You would be spreading yourself too thin and THAT comes with exhaustion that would otherwise be avoided.
Say ‘no’ without feeling guilty. You have a say in how your time should be utilized. Not everything is good for your time. It is okay to decline.
When you decline some requests, you open up yourself to even better requests along the way. Say ‘yes’ when it’s the right opportunity but don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ if it doesn’t feel right.
You have the power to say ‘no’ to ill-fitting opportunities. Say it without guilt. Don’t spread yourself thin by always being the ‘yes man/woman.’
There is merit in seizing opportunities – carpe diem, as is often advised. With that said, not every ‘carpe diem’ opportunity is right for you. There are always better opportunities lurking. You just have to ready yourself for those.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ when your gut feeling is unsettled. Carpe diem, but to the right opportunities.
Say ‘no’ without guilt. Respect your time and commitments.