Monday's Thoughts


Curing the "Yes" Syndrome

eliminating bad habits productivity

"Success has less to do with what we get ourselves to do and more to do with keeping ourselves from doing what we shouldn't." (Kenneth Cole)    


When children are young and first learn to talk, it seems like their favorite word to say is "no".  As adults, however, many of us struggle to let that word come out of our mouth, for fear that we will upset someone, or offend them or cause them to think a tiny fraction less of us. So, we say "yes", even when we shouldn't. We say "yes" because we feel obliged to give the squeaky wheel the oil first, even when we shouldn't. We say "yes" to easy, fun and interesting activities and events, even when we shouldn't.  

Sound familiar? We all make these mistakes from time to time. If this is more of an all-the-time habit for you, the time is now to take control of your time and learn how to correct your yes cure your YES SYNDROME once and for all! 

The truth is that saying "yes" to everyone and everything is the same as saying "no" to your vision! Know what you need to do to move closer to becoming the person you want to become. Know what and who are important to you. And then, use those as your gauge to see what should be added to your schedule...and what should not. 

Look, if you run your business on a schedule, and you intentionally only fill it with your vital activities and what matters to you, saying no becomes a whole lot easier! 

In addition to running your business on a powerful schedule, these tips should help, as well:  

1 - Be aware. Look back at what you did last week or last month and take note of all the things you said yes to, but should have said no. 

2 - Be proactive. Now, look forward to the week or month ahead and see if you can spot any of those 'should-have-said-no-to activities' on your calendar. It may be too late to get out of some of them now, as it is important to "be your word". If, however, there are any that you can manage to remove, get them off your calendar.   

3 - Be familiar. When you know where you tend to slip out of the driver's seat and let others control your time, you will be able to spot them and prevent yourself from getting into a sticky situation.

4 - Be creative. Create a script for those 'need to say no' situations and practice it! Here are some examples:

"I appreciate you thinking of me. I am just not able to attend that meeting." 

"No, thank you. I cannot add that event to my schedule this week. If anything changes, I will, of course, let you know."                                    

"I am so glad you reached out. I will not be able to squeeze that in right now. Thank you, though, for including me. I really appreciate that." 

The next time you are presented with an activity that falls under the 'need to say no' category, just do exactly that - say "no". There is no need to channel your inner 2-year old. You can - and should - deliver your message in a nice, professional, and respectful manner, of course! With the above scripts (or something along those lines), this is not all that difficult.

It's up to you to break this habit...and cure yourself of the "Yes" Syndrome! Your future self will be extremely grateful! 


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