Learning how to say no is such a life skill, isn’t it? So many of us are pretty clear about what we want out of life, but when the time comes to say no to those opportunities that don’t align with what we want, we can feel completely unprepared and unsure of ourselves.
For me, saying no will always feel scary. I will always have that nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me that I’m missing an opportunity or making a mistake.
The truth is, saying no may never feel completely comfortable, and that’s okay. We just have to learn to tune into our intuition, rather than that crazy voice.
Know what you Want
This is the absolute most important step is learning when to say no. First, you have to know exactly what you want. Then when an opportunity comes up, all you need to do is ask yourself if it will get you closer or further away from the vision for your life.
Think about what you most value and make some overarching goals for your life. For me, spending as much time as possible with my husband and kids will always be my first priority, so I try to make my business decisions based maximizing my time at home.
Once you know the goals for your life, make some long-term business goals. Look ahead to the next one to five years and fantasize about how you want your business or career to look. A LOT can change in a year’s time, so don’t worry about being too ‘out there.’
Listen to your Gut
Now that you have some clarity on the vision for your life, figuring out when to say no will be much easier. The next step is learning to listen to your intuition, that inner knowing that we all have.
If you’re not used to listening to that little voice, it can feel like you don’t have one. You do, but you’ve just been thinking over it.
Like any other skill, listening to our intuition takes practice. Try to take a little time each day for stillness. Sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath for a few minutes each day.
Taking this time to slow down and practice mindfulness will help you make space for that intuition to talk to you.
Now that I practice mindfulness on a regular basis, I’m much more tuned into my body and am amazed at the guidance that comes through.
When I need to say no to an opportunity, I always feel myself tensing up and clenching my jaw. In the past, I never noticed that, because I was too busy overanalyzing every aspect of the decision.