Day #3: The Power of The Pause
“No is a decision. Yes is a responsibility."
“No is a decision. Yes is a responsibility.
Be careful what (and who) you say yes to. It will shape your day, your career, your family, your life.”
So, you nailed Day #2.
You said NO to one thing.
What was it? How did it feel? Did the world end? Did the fear you had about what might happen if you said no actually happen? Or did you imagine the whole thing? Let me know in the comments.
Now we're going to move on to the focus for Day #3: The moment when you say ‘yes’ to things you don't want to do.
There are a lot of reasons you might say yes to things you don't want to do. Sometimes it's because you feel you have an obligation, sometimes it's because you think that's your job (when it isn’t), sometimes you think it's because if you don't do it, it won't get done right, and sometimes it's simply because you’re afraid of what will happen if you say NO.
As an inveterate people-pleaser, I totally understand the compulsion to reflexively say yes in the moment. But there is one very effective tool that makes you less likely to continue falling into this trap:
Of the Pause.
It's important to take a moment and really understand the power of PAUSING before you answer any kind of request. When someone asks something of you, take a beat before responding; whether it's in text, email, over the phone or Zoom meeting, or in person.
When you PAUSE, you allow yourself a moment to ask yourself, "Do I really want to do this? Does this serve me? Will this take up time that I could be using for something better? Am I just doing this to be nice? Will I regret saying yes to this as soon as I hang up?'“
Just for today, practice PAUSING before responding to any kind of request; big or small.
Even if it's a request for something you like to do -- PAUSE then respond. And if, during the pause, you realize the request is not something that will serve you well, you know what magic word to use:
Try it for today. If it’s too hard, I’ll help you next with the nuts and bolts of different kinds of NO.