“It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on things that are really important.” –Steve Jobs
The Power of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’
In our personal and professional lives, we have likely all come across a moment where we realize we should have said “no” to something, but said “yes” instead. Be that from pressure or confidence, many people have these moments. The word “yes” has power, does it not? Accepting responsibility with a “yes” towards an extra task at work can be rewarding.
Often, many of us find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of our yeses. But we keep on saying “yes”, because we may feel judged or fear rejection in our workplaces if we say “no.” Unfortunately, these feelings and fears are prevalent in our work environments. Studies have shown that women in the workforce find it hard to say no, because of the possible negative repercussions. It is also found that women of color, too, have similar issues, and are asked more to do remedial office tasks, such as shutting a door in a meeting. With this in mind, our workplaces can often seem filled with negative pressure.
That is why there is such power in saying “no”.
When to Say “No”
“No” is an appropriate approach to any situation where one feels pressured to act outside our comfortable space and environment. Whether it is a family holiday stress or in the workplace, saying no can help reduce stress, avoid unnecessary conflict, and help you to better manage your day-to-day life.
When it comes to how you say no – timing and approach matter. Because “no” has a negative connotation, approach saying no to things in the workplace or personal life by communicating your boundaries and not going overboard with apologies.
While saying “yes” can be empowering, it can also cause stress and conflict. Saying “no” can help relieve unnecessary discomfort, and help you to be proactive about your day-to-day responsibilities and time management.