If It’s Not A HELL YES, It’s A Hell No

October 27, 2019

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I have a theory that boys are taught from an early age what it means to be a strong, firm “man,” but no one really talks to girls about what it means to be a “woman.” Not in the sense of becoming an adult woman who must stand up for herself and protect her boundaries.

I believe this leads to grown women often having a “people-pleasing,” small-girl mentality and not really knowing how to say “no” (‍me until about 5 years ago). I mean, culturally, we even still refer to grown women as “girls” all the time.

Many of us take on far too much just because someone asked us to. Serving on work-intensive-but-not-powerful office committees. Doing admin work or party planning for the office far more often than men. Serving on the PTA. Saying yes to anyone who asks us out for coffee.

I’m NOT saying these things are all bad. But if you’re not amped to do any of them, SAY NO. Men do it all the time (if they’re even asked).

A “yes” to anything is a “no” to something else and that could be the difference between you being exhausted, disgruntled, and stuck in that “I have no time for me” headspace v. feeling in control, happy and having time for what brings you joy.

If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a hard, firm pass.

Protect your time. Only you can do it.

I completely get that this is harder in a work setting. But honestly, it’s not going to change unless we start saying “no” and remaining firm. Don’t underestimate how valuable your work is to your company / networking group / etc. beyond doing that admin work. Have confidence in your work product, overdeliver on what you say “yes” to, and firmly decline anything you don’t want to do.

In addition to learning to say no, check out my Bright Method Time Management program to reclaim more control of your work hours.

Drop a comment if you feel me. And if you have advice on how to firmly and politely say “no,” please share. I know all of us could use some help knowing how to do it. After all, we weren’t taught how.

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