As a woman, it can be hard to get ahead. That’s just how the world was built. We have been told that in order to seize every opportunity, in order to be liked, in order to rise in the ranks, we need to be willing to do anything. Give up anything. Say “yes” to anything.
When you say “yes” to everything, you can leave yourself overworked, overstimulated or find yourself overspending.
It’s time for women to take back their power and know that it can start with one word.
“The ability to communicate ‘no’ really reflects that you are in the driver’s seat of your own life,” said Vanessa M. Patrick, an associate professor of marketing at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston in an interview with New York Times. “It gives you a sense of empowerment.”
Empowerment! What else are we looking for, as women? We want to be taken seriously, to have control over our lives, to not have to make excuses for why we can’t don’t want to or shouldn’t do something.
Saying “yes” is often a fear-based response. We’re afraid of the ramifications if we say “no,” – that we might seem unreliable or lazy.
It’s hard to say “no” to taking on an extra client in your new position although you’re already overwhelmed with new responsibilities. You want to make a good impression and show people what a hard worker you are!
Then there’s that age-old case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that inevitably happens when we skip drinks with friends or say no to a vacation that you could afford but would money tight when you return.
It might feel like either way, you’re stuck. If you say “no,” you’ll have regret. If you say “yes,” you’re stretching yourself too thin.
So, what to do?
It’s time for you – for all women – to set their own boundaries. Draw those lines in the sand and refuse to cross it (or let anyone else, for that matter).
Begin by writing them down! Put pen to papers and sign a contract with yourself. What are you going to start saying “no” to?
Don’t look at your new boundaries as rules of exclusion or missed opportunities. Shift your perspective to see your life as full and abundant! All the other things will come and come again. You will say “yes” to them when you have time or when you’re ready.
Saying “no” to all of the extra things that have been bogging you down and stealing your power will give you more time and space to say “yes” to all of the things that YOU want to do. When learning to say “no” to others, start saying “yes” to yourself a little more.
By taking a powerful stance on the work “no,” you’re actually making the times that you say “yes” much more valuable.
Go forth and live a life of quality experiences. No one will value your time until you tell them to!
Happy Women’s History Month to all the incredible women out there!