Lesson #7: Learn to say no, otherwise, you will hurt yourself

Lesson #7: Learn to say no, otherwise, you will hurt yourself

Do you remember a time when you had to say no to someone? Was it easy or difficult for you? Every one of us is unique and the capabilities of handling such situations vary. However, I still vividly remember how much and for how long I struggled to say no.

Especially in the beginning of my career saying no to someone was almost inexistent. In fact, I continued saying yes to everyone for many years after. Why? One of the reasons was because I did not want to upset, disappoint, or anger anyone. Hence, I took on more and more work despite the fact I was overloaded.     

Another reason was that I saw myself as being a problem solver and each ask was for me an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop. I always loved to help people, and being able to assist anyone brought me great satisfaction. I have always done it from the heart, even though I ended up working overtime or hurting myself.

Later in my career, I learned that saying no to someone is not being selfish or rude. Unfortunately, it became more obvious to me that in many workplaces a helping attitude is exploited instead of being appreciated.

Each of us should recognize our limits. Know how much we can handle, not only in terms of work, but also family, social commitments, etc. If we continuously stretch ourselves thin, a time may come when we will no longer be productive or our health will suffer.  

Time is the most precious commodity; therefore, we should spend it wisely. We have to value it first, because if we do not, others will not either. Always set up your priorities, and politely say no when it does not feel right for you.