The Art of Saying NO

Saying, “NO” is empowering and it is a skill that I have really honed in on this year with some great results.

“No” sets boundaries. It allows me to finally enjoy so many more things because I am not running around doing 54,000 things I DON’T want to do…all because I said, “no.”

So many of us- especially women- feel guilty when we get asked to do something (help with something…go to an event…take on an extra project etc.) so we just automatically say, “yes” when asked, knowing full well that we don’t have the freakin’ time to do it. We are so damn tired and so “scheduled up” because of this. We end up regretting saying “yes” more times than not and then we don’t enjoy doing what we committed to and end up doing it with resentment and disdain.

I am here to tell you that everyone needs to learn the art of saying, “NO”. It is way easier than you think.

When someone asks you to do something, don’t answer right away. Let them know that you will look at your schedule. Take time to decide if this is something yo9u REALLY want to do…and then if it is, do it. Otherwise, politely decline.

Now, declining is the hard part because it makes us very uncomfortable. We are potentially hurting someone’s feelings and us people pleasers find that so hard to do. God forbid that someone gets pissed at us. That would surely be the end of the world. It is not…I promise. People will respect you for it.

Trust me, I am not saying that I have become an expert at this fine art…but I am getting there. I have started saying, “no” more and more often and dammit, it feels good. I no longer am going places or doing things that I truly don’t want to do (unless a good friend or family really needs me) only to hate every second of doing it or being there. Time is the MOST precious commodity and one that we cannot get back or get more of. I work my ass off during the week and after work has become “my time” to spend as I please.

I started doing this with work a few years ago. Everyone thought I was nuts. I decided not to take calls after 5:30pm and to not work on the weekends. Say WHAT?? A loan officer that doesn’t work 24-7? Yup. That is me. Guess what? It has not hurt my business one bit. I have $135.5 million reasons (so far) to prove my theory is correct…there are no loan emergencies. Any person that does not respect your time in the beginning of the process will continue to not respect your time. Back in the days when I would pick up my phone late at night or on a Sunday…I very quickly realized that these people were really unprepared time wasters. Again…no loan emergencies. Gone are the days of me taking loan apps for someone who knew that they were going to go house shopping for weeks, but didn’t take the 20 minutes prior to the weekend to get pre-qualified. I have learned that it is OK to say, “No”…my personal time is extremely important.

So…when you are tempted to feel guilty about saying no, I urge you to pause. Think about how hard you have worked this week and all of the 5 million other things that you need to take care of or that you would rather do. Then politely say, “no” if it is too much.

Especially in our industry…if we never said those magic words, you would never have any time to yourself, ever. Is that the life you want? I didn’t think so.

Breathe in….breathe out….ask yourself the question: “Is this something I REALLY want to do?”

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