One thing I have had the hardest time doing in my life is saying 'no.' I love helping people and I always want to be there when people ask. When I say yes and I should have said 'no,' I'm really struggling to give them my best and I also may not be the right person who's suited for the job. Have you ever been in this situation?
Learning to say 'no' has been an intense journey for me, but I have to tell you, the absolute best strategy that I have been able to deploy is really understanding my purpose and using my purpose as a way to free me from doing things that I shouldn't be doing.
WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE?
You get an email from somebody or somebody calls you they say : "Hey, I would really love for you to <<fill in the blank.>>' In your heart you want to say 'yes,' but only because you care about that person, you just don't like to say 'no' or you want to avoid the conflict. You may be saying 'yes' to something that you are not best suited for. You may be saying 'yes' because you have a habit of saying it.
BREAK THE HABIT
Before saying yes or giving a response, considering replying with 'thank you so much for asking me, let me get back to you.' Take a pause, give yourself the opportunity to stop and reflect. This pause allows you to think about whether or not this is something you should be doing. It sounds so simple, but fighting that gut reaction of saying 'yes' is a major game changer.
Once you have that moment to stop and reflect, the only question that you need to ask is, 'is this something that aligns with my purpose?' If the request aligns with your purpose, then great, try and figure out what the next steps are going to be how you plan to insert that task or opportunity into your schedule.
If the answer is no, here are some very simple things that you can do to politely decline. SIDE NOTE: this is one of the templates I have saved in my Template Folder because I have to decline requests frequently in my journey.
"...DUE TO MY purpose,..."
The first is to say: 'thank you so much for this request or for thinking about me, but unfortunately due to my purpose' or '...due to my prior commitments, I am not going to be able to take on this request that you just made of me.'
Letting people know I appreciate them for reaching out, but I have to make some decisions and unfortunately this isn't going to fit, is an amazing strategy. When I first started doing this, I was afraid because I thought people might think I was being rude. Anybody who knew me understood I was being thoughtful about whether or not I could give what they've requested or whether I was the right person. These experiences bring me to my second tip.
"I DON'T THINK THIS IS THE BEST FIT FOR ME"
Sometimes the best response is to say, 'thank you so much for thinking about me, but I don't think that this is the best fit for me' or 'here is another idea or here is another person you might want to consider.' Why is that a great strategy?
First of all, it it articulates to a person that you're grateful. It also lets them know you've given their request some thought. Number three, it's a way for you to elevate other people who might not always be getting the limelight or who might not be getting the requests, but who could do a phenomenal job as their purpose actually aligns with the action that needs doing.
IT'S STILL HARD
I want to say for the record, even though I have these strategies in place, it is still very hard for me to say 'no.' It's difficult because I want to do something for somebody that I absolutely love and I know that it would be really special for our relationship if I go ahead and move forward with it.
Sometimes I agree to do something because of guilt. I'm not going to lie! Or it may be because of I find joy in it even though it doesn't align with purpose.
I hope you find these strategies useful and understand that saying 'no' is a critical part of being a Purposeful Hustler .