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The Sykes Group
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Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Tel: 757-427-7032
Fax: 757-427-0929

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How to Set Boundaries and Say No to Achieve More Success in Your Life!

By: Joy Fisher-Sykes

We are constantly bombarded daily with requests for our time.  While helping others can be very rewarding, at the same time we can feel distraught about constantly obligating ourselves to others while not fulfilling our own needs.  We can feel distressed about constant commitments to do things we simply donít have the time, energy or desire to do. 

At times, we may immediately feel the urge to say no, but instead lose our courage, and concede yet again.  The question is why?  Is it because:

 
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You fear you wonít be liked or feel a strong need to please everyone

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You have to always keep the calendar full so you feel needed and important

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You undervalue the need for down time and forget simply not wanting to do anything is a legitimate reason to say no 

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You would rather not deal with the consequences of saying no and all the feelings that come with it.

Setting boundaries and saying no is taking personal responsibility for your well-being.  This requires you to clearly speak up, and specifically ask for what you want.  Your decision to say no to requests from family, friends, and co-workers doesnít have to be filled with feelings of uneasiness and guilt.  It fact, itís important you remember the decision to say no is strictly a personal choice Ė yours! 

Whether at work, with family, or friends, you can say no with diplomacy, tact, and respect.  Here some ways you can embrace your personal power and assert your right to say no. 

Be sure you have all the facts

Before making a commitment, be sure you have a complete understanding of exactly whatís being asked of you.  You may feel confused because you just donít have enough information to make a decision.  You have the right to ask as many questions as necessary.  

 

     Ask yourself ďIs this a unreasonable request?Ē

When someone makes a request, he or she is usually tuned into ďWIIFMĒ (Whatís In It For Me).  People are not necessarily concerned with whether or not a request is in your best interest.  If you feel hesitant, trapped or otherwise uncomfortable Ė go with your gut and say no.  These uneasy feelings probably indicate saying yes isnít best.

   

Take Your Time

There is no law that says you have to immediately obligate yourself to someone when asked.  Take your time before you make a final decision.  Simply say ďI need time to think about this.  Iíll get back to you.Ē

 

Set goals

Setting your goals will make it easier to say no.  Establishing priorities makes it easy to decide how much time you can devote to others without sacrificing your own needs.  You will be more comfortable declining requests that conflict with your priorities. 

 

Speak up - without excuses or apologies

When you have all the facts and decide say no, say no calmly and firmly.  An assertive tone of voice, body language, and eye contact lets others know you are serious and definite in your decision. 

Donít be meek.  Say no directly without excuses.  Excuses make you appear as if you arenít in control of your decisions.  If you say ďIím sorry butÖĒ this only weakens your stand.  If you have decided saying yes is not in your best interest, no apology is necessary. 

What if they wonít take no for an answer?

If someone wonít take no for an answer, repeat your position.  Maintain your stand and donít allow yourself to be manipulated or strong armed.  No means no and you have the right to stand by your choice. 

 

     Feel good about your decision to say no

Feel calm, confident, and comfortable with your decision to say no.  Be secure knowing itís enough to say no simply because you just donít want to.

Remember, learn how to say no is a win-win situation for everyone.

 

Suggested reading:

 

Take Time to Create a Life Balance Sheet for Success

Itís the Most Wonderful Gift of the Year

Five Ways to Reduce Environmental Stress (Part Two)

Set Yourself Stress-Free 

Set Yourself Free

Five Ways to Reduce Environmental Stress (Part One)

Words to Live By Ė Six Ways to Breathe Life into Your Day

How to Set Boundaries and Say No 

Adversity: Your Seed of Greatness (Three Secrets to Using Adversity to Become Great)

Connect the Dots! Your Roadmap for Success

Every Super Hero Needs Theme Music. Whatís Yours?

Five Secrets to Creating a "Goal" Medal Life 

Five Secrets to Creating a "Goal" Medal Life - Part 2

10 Action Steps to Motivate Yourself to Great Accomplishments

Delegate to Accelerate Success (How to Prepare Yourself and Others for Success)

Appreciate to Motivate (The Key to Successful Team Building)

The Greatest Gift of All - The Gift of Empowerment

Goal Setting Secrets to Jumpstart Your Life

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To learn how to "Set Boundaries and Say No" go the following links:

  • Fall into Success 2004 Empowerment Workshop Series
  • How to Say No and Achieve More
  • Assertive Communication Skills
  • Call us at 757-427-7032 or e-mail us at info@thesykesgrp.com.

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    Joy Fisher-Sykes is a author and professional speaker published in the areas of communication, time  management, and teamwork. She works with business and government organizations who want to reach the next level of success and individuals who want to perform at their best. You can email her at jfsykes@thesykesgrp.com, call her at (757) 427-7032 or visit her Web site at www.thesykesgrp.com.

     

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    Last modified:
    10/09/2011 07:42:15 PM