The Connection Magazine AIM MUTUAL Fall 2019 - Page 24

YOU CAN SAY NO FIVE THINGS YOU CAN SAY NO TO RIGHT NOW BY MICHAEL BUNGAY STANIER I’M GENERALLY an accommodating person, so saying no hasn’t always been my strong suit. It’s all too easy to shove another yes into the bag of our overcommitted lives, trusting that in a Harry Potter magical sort of way it will somehow all work itself out. But the fact is we can’t say yes to everything. It’s been a real objective of mine to find ways to say no, in order to make room for another yes in my life. You can’t always rely on willpower — sometimes you need to build up your defenses. One of the best ways is to change your environment to one that allows you to do just that. For instance, if you don’t want to eat ice cream anymore, don’t keep any in the house. Essentially, you’re changing your behavior. Sometimes it’s hard to say no, but other times it’s a bit easier. Here are five things you can start saying no to immediately that can help alter your environment, change your behavior and have a positive impact on the way you live. 1. Say NO to draining relationships Recognize that not all people nourish you. Some will drain your energy, and there is no room for those kind of soul-sucking relationships. You know the support system you have and who lights you up. Keep those people close and let the others go. 2. Say NO to being perfect Not everything needs to be done with excellence. Oftentimes, being adequate is just fine, if not even better than fine. It’s stressful always trying to be perfect and, quite frankly, it’s just not worth it. Accept that perfection is not always needed for success. 3. Say NO to too much email Email itself is not work. It should be seen as a means to an end, a way to communicate. Don’t get trampled by the email beast! Use it to your advantage, and don’t let it get the better of you. Tame the beast. 4. Say NO to feeling like you’re “good busy” Do you catch yourself telling people you’re very busy, only to follow that up with “But it’s a good busy”? Being busy does not equate to success. It likely means that you’re overcommitted and overwhelmed, or worse yet, that you haven’t figured out what really matters. Say no more often and yes more slowly. 5. Say NO to being so serious about it all Remember to have fun. Say no to feeling like you need to be serious 100 percent of the time. There’s a time and a place for seriousness, of course, but there should always be time for fun too. Don’t forget to have fun. Stop the rush to action. Say no when it means you can better define a yes. Ask yourself what matters and decide what doesn’t. Michael Bungay Stanier Michael Bungay Stanier is the founder of Box of Crayons, a company that champions coaching as a force for leadership development and culture change. They teach managers leaders practical tools so they can coach in 10 minutes or less. On the way to founding Box of Crayons in 2002, Michael lived in Australia, England, the United States and Canada, his current home. He has written a number of books. His latest, the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Coaching Habit, has sold over half a million copies. It has been praised as one of the few business books that actually makes people laugh out loud. BoxofCrayons.com 24