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  • Writer's pictureMaddie Cohen

The Value of Saying No

Saying no can be tough.

It can also be transformative.

Though it’s certainly an adjustment if you’re used to saying yes all the time, the opposite will work wonders if you make a habit of it.

What do you think?

“No” in the Workplace

Fresh out of college, I was an overworked multimedia journalist—on-call 24/7, tethered to my phone, and tasked with so many obligations that there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to complete them all.

Don’t get me wrong: I loved my job.

I was grateful for the opportunity.

But I didn’t set boundaries or state my needs because I didn’t know I could.

I’d wake up at 2 a.m., complete live phoners about snowfall, and drive hundreds of miles the next day chasing stories. My breaking point was when—after nearly 18 hours of work, the bulk of which involved interviewing strangers and operating a motor vehicle—I nearly fell asleep at the wheel.

I began to say no.

Why Do We Say Yes?

Before I learned to say no, the quality of my work suffered, my personal life suffered, and I felt ill at ease most of the time.

You can’t please everyone, right?

But then I learned to put my foot down.

For many of us, this can be quite the adjustment. In school, we’re taught to follow the rules, turn in our assignments, and play by the proverbial book.

Just imagine the repercussions of looking a professor in the eye, and telling them that the paper they just assigned?

Yeah, it’s not going to happen.

We say yes because that’s what we’re taught to do!

We want to follow expectations, meet others’ standards, and do the right thing.

Here’s the thing, though—speaking up is the right thing (done the right way, of course). There’s a reason boundaries are so often qualified as “healthy.”

Make a Habit of Setting Boundaries

Think of it this way: Boundaries are all about protecting yourself so that you can be your best self.

This means that saying no now will allow you to say yes later—and you and everyone around you will be better for it.

If you’re feeling burned out at work and think better boundaries could help, please stay tuned. That’s the theme of next week’s post!

Have thoughts on the power of “no”? Interested in learning more about the security services available at our firm? Please contact us for a free consultation.

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