3 Reasons Why Saying NO is Critical to Your Success

Every new year brings a new level of hope, excitement and expectations. It can be quite challenging to stay focused on your goals or new habits you want to develop this year. To achieve better results, you will need to get good at saying no to others or to any distractions that are going to take you off course.

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With seemingly an abundance of opportunities or invitations coming your way, becoming good at saying no is going to be critical to your success. If you’re not careful about what you are saying yes to, your could seriously over-burden yourself and lose integrity with yourself and others.

Here are three reasons why you need to get good at saying no.

  1. It will help you stayed focused on your priorities. Have you ever had someone contact you and want to “pick your brain”? I am getting more and more of these every month! While it can be satisfying to be able to support someone else with their goals, the reality is your can only help so many people with the time you have.

    I tend to get asked for help quite often on the topics of writing and publishing books especially after having success with my one of my book, Building High-Performing Teams. While I really do desire to help others with what I know, the truth is if I tried to help everyone that asks for help, it will only slow me down and get off track. What I now tend to do is tell people to Google what they are looking for and if they can’t find a solution, either find a book or a course they can take to help them. That usually takes care of around 99% of requests from people wanting to pick my brain.

  2. It will help you remain calm and relaxed. When you have too many things on the go, it can be very easy to get stressed and overwhelmed. If you say no regularly, you won’t feel like you have so many things going on at a time. It can be quite liberating to say no to someone or something that is using up mental energy.
  3. It will help you say yes to things that are more beneficial to you. Each time you say yes to something that is not important, you are saying no to something that may be. By becoming good at saying no to low priority things or things that won’t bring you much benefits in the long run, you are creating the space to allow something better to come into your life.
  4. For me, each time I say yes to TV, I am actually saying no to more important and productive things like writing my next book or learning a new skill. That is one of the reasons why I have identified new habits I want to develop this year.

Here are a couple of strategies you can apply to get good at saying no.

  1. Create a Don’t Do list. You probably have heard of a To Do list but having a Don’t Do list is just as important. Some of the things on my Don’t Do list include:

    – No website coding or programming
    – No website graphics or design work
    – No book design or layout work
    – No social meetings one-on-one.

  2. Have a NO First Then Reconsider policy. Last year for the first time, I tried this No First Then Reconsider policy and it worked really well. It helped me clarify what I would or wouldn’t be willing to do. It also helped make it easier when it came down to making decisions, especially for things that were not really important but I felt obliged to do. By having that policy, I was able to say no to things that would have taken me off course and not supported me in achieving what I wanted to.

I encourage you to start saying NO more often. You will be amazed by the difference it will make to your results.

Question: What are you going to say NO to this year?

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  • Jane Ransom

    Love this, Neel! A TV producer contacted me last week about
    doing a docu-series on hypnotherapy. At first it seemed like a great
    opportunity. But then I realized that for many reasons this had to be a NO. Now, we were just at the
    initial stages, the show wasn’t guaranteed to happen… but by figuring out my NO
    fast, I have saved myself the time it
    would have taken to put everything together for something I really don’t want. “No” to them was a “Yes” to myself. 🙂

    • Neel Raman

      That’s a great realization Jane! Saying no can be such a relief most times! Well done!