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Carol Ebert Carol Ebert (Member) Writer

The Stress of YES

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Are you finding yourself overwhelmed, overworked, stressed out, exhausted and don’t know how to break free from this cycle? Before you sign up for therapy, lets take a look at what’s happening in your life and see if we can open up some time for you to get some R & R.

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The Stress of YES

May I be so bold as to ask if you are a YES person?

You know what I mean - saying YES to every request that comes your way and now you find yourself over your head with more than you can handle?

If this is you, then what is the reason you say YES to everything?

Check those that apply or add your own reasons

  • Want to please everyone
  • Don't want to disappoint
  • Don't know how to say no
  • Always think of others first and me last
  • Want to be where the action is
  • Don't want to miss out on anything
  • Feel guilty if I don't help
  • Can't pass up a good cause
  • Need to show support

Your reasons _________________________________________

Now that you've assessed some reasons that may be leading you down the path of saying YES too much, this is a good time for me to share my favorite stress management tool. Ready for this? It's the word NO. Bet you saw that coming. I can hear you saying right now "But I just can't say NO to all these requests." I get that. But what if we reframe the word NO from being negative to being positive.

Yes - you can absolutely reframe and shift gears. Here's how to do it. Start thinking of NO as an act of kindness for you and others around you. By saying NO you are being kind to yourself and protecting your personal time for you and your family. And by saying NO, the person who gave you the request can ask someone else who might even be a better candidate for the job than you would have been. So it is a WIN-WIN!

Now let's get started. I am very inspired by the work of business leader and entrepreneur Marie Forleo for the following information. Here are a few scenarios you might face and how to respond with a NO. Of course you can create your own responses in your own way that best reflect your personality.

Simple ways to say NO with KINDNESS

If you are too busy:

Thanks for thinking of me, but I'm not able to accept given my other commitments

If you want to modify the offer:

Thanks for thinking of me. While I'm not able to commit to this fully, I would be able to __________ .

If you're not interested:

Thanks for thinking of me but I'm going to pass on this.

or

Thanks for your kind offer. While it's not something I choose to pursue, please know how honored I am to be asked. (This response is from Bob Burg, co-author of The Go-Giver)

If they try to negotiate:

I'd just rather not but thank you so much for thinking of me.

If you need a universal NO to be used for any request:

Thanks for reaching out but I'm not taking any new projects at this time.

Does reading these suggested responses make you feel better and more confident with handling requests that you don't want to accept? The bottom line is that "NO is an act of KINDNESS" for you - because you get back precious time for self care. And it is also a gift for others because they really want help from people who have the time, energy and passion for their cause, not someone who will be burned out and exhausted because they said yes.

Your job now - if you choose to do it - is to practice these scripts in front of a mirror so you get comfortable with your delivery. Then when you get the next request you don't want to accept, deliver it in person with confidence and commitment, or write it in an email if that feels better.

I would love to hear your thoughts, especially after you try it out for the first time. Remember, progress not perfection.

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Carol Ebert RN, BSN, MA, CHES, Certified Wellness Practitioner, Certified Mindful Coach, Sanoviv Nutrition Advisor

3 Likes, 4 Followers, 47 Articles, 18,965 Visitors, and 123 Posts.

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I like the reframing idea. Saying No without feeling guilty is hard! Thanks for sharing.

Edited by sirI

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I think the techniques in the article are great for helping people not get roped into things. I've perfected the art of the rueful smile and the sincere-sounding apology: "I'm so sorry; I wish I could have helped you on this." Kind and regretful-sounding, but still a no.

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I think the techniques in the article are great for helping people not get roped into things. I've perfected the art of the rueful smile and the sincere-sounding apology: "I'm so sorry; I wish I could have helped you on this." Kind and regretful-sounding, but still a no.

Excellent!

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I like the reframing idea. Saying No without feeling guilty is hard! Thanks for sharing.

Saying NO gets easier and leads to less guilt with practice.

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