Some­times it is im­por­tant to say ‘no’

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - LIFESTYLE - CALODAGH MCCUMISKEY’S Calodagh McCumiskey de­signs and de­liv­ers be­spoke well­be­ing at work pro­grammes to grow peo­ple and com­pa­nies. She also of­fers reg­u­lar meditation classes, per­sonal devel­op­ment work­shops and well­be­ing con­sul­ta­tions to help peo­ple thrive

YEARS ago, I used to be the type of per­son that said yes to ev­ery­thing as long as I had noth­ing else sched­uled at the ap­pointed time. I used to feel guilty when cir­cum­stances meant I had to say the simple word ‘no’.

Thank­fully this has changed con­sid­er­ably (but not com­pletely). It has been a jour­ney. It reg­u­larly comes up as a ma­jor daily chal­lenge for peo­ple in my var­i­ous work­shops. It can be a big stres­sor and takes up a lot of headspace for many peo­ple. It can also pro­mote very un­healthy and un­der­min­ing thought pat­terns.

Wa­ver­ing back and forth too much re­in­forces the ‘doubt­ing neu­ropath­ways’ that we have and erodes con­fi­dence.

The more suc­cess­ful you are, the more peo­ple will want to be as­so­ci­ated with you and the more of­fers you will get. Suc­cess­ful peo­ple have to say no to up to 90 per­cent of the op­por­tu­ni­ties they are pre­sented with.

Learn­ing to think through what you want to say ‘no’ to and be­ing clear what you want to say ‘yes’ to is an im­por­tant skill we all need to learn. Here are some of the con­sid­er­a­tions I have found have helped me:

1. Does my heart want to do this? Our ‘gut’ or ‘heart’ re­ac­tion is a pow­er­ful in­di­ca­tor of what is truly im­por­tant.

2. Ask your­self: ‘Am I the best-placed per­son to do this?’ Can they just as eas­ily get some­one else and would it make more sense for them to so? Some­times peo­ple ask us to do things be­cause they know we will say yes or be­cause they are sim­ply tak­ing the easy op­tion of ask­ing the first per­son they see or ask­ing a com­pe­tent per­son. Be­ware in th­ese cases.

3. Do I have time to do this? Will do­ing this com­pro­mise some­thing else – an ear­lier commitment or re­spon­si­bil­ity? Will it push me to burn out ? If the an­swer is yes to any of th­ese, ‘No’ might be best.

4. If you are still in doubt, you can ask: ‘Does it align with my pri­or­i­ties and plans? Will I grow, or learn from this chance? WilI I be able to do jus­tice to this as per my stan­dards and still do ev­ery­thing else on my plate?’

5. It is also im­por­tant to look at this as­pect. Is this an emer­gency? If it is and if you can be of mean­ing­ful help, it is im­por­tant to gen­uinely look at it? Un­planned things come up all the time. As part of be­ing hu­man, and friend­ship, it is im­por­tant to be will­ing to put your­self out and have a heart to help peo­ple in times of cri­sis. Life is rarely fully con­ve­nient and it is im­por­tant to be flex­i­ble when sit­u­a­tions war­rant.

Here are some other ways to get you ready to know when to say ‘no’ and how to say it.

- Learn from oth­ers. Most peo­ple re­spect a thought­ful no.

- Once the de­ci­sion is made, com­mu­ni­cate. Pro­cras­ti­nat­ing around it only puts fur­ther strain on your­self, oth­ers and re­la­tion­ships.

- Just like we have mus­cles in our phys­i­cal body, we also have ‘mus­cles’ in our mind and how we com­mu­ni­cate. If you are not used to it, it will be un­com­fort­able to say it. Think it through. Write down the pros and cons so you are clear and to strengthen your re­solve.

- Take a few days, do a bit of re­search or Sleep on it if you are not sure. Get fully clear in your head.

When you know deep down what you want the an­swer to be and take re­spon­si­bil­ity for that, it makes it a lot eas­ier to say it.

When you know deep down what you want the an­swer to be and take re­spon­si­bil­ity for that, it makes it a lot eas­ier to say it.

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