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The power of "NO"

Some of us say 'yes' to often. "According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of the effort produces 80% of the results, however, 20% of the results consumes 80% of the effort'. I want us to revisit how we work and operate in our everyday lives i.e. work, family, friends and even relaxation. Once you prioritize and know when to say "NO" you will have more time to do the things that you REALLY AND TRULY ENJOY. Warren Buffet once said "The difference between successful people and very successful people is that the very successful people say "no" to almost everything."

Knowing when to say "no" takes skill and practice. Learning these skill can help keep you safe, build and maintain strong and healthy relationships, and be able to identify the best opportunities that come your way while ignoring things that are a waste of your time and talents. In order to know when to say no, it is important to learn more about your personal limits as well as to understand how to identify opportunities that are too good to be true.

Knowing your limits. Reflect on your personal boundaries. Consider your physical, emotional, and mental boundaries. Physical boundaries involve privacy, space, and your body. For example, what kinds of activities you are willing to engage in – in each of your relationships with others (hugging, shaking hands, kissing, etc.) – or in recreational activities (walking instead of running after knee surgery, or saying yes to waterskiing but no to skydiving). Emotional boundaries are where you set the line between your responsibility for your own feelings versus others’ feelings. Mental boundaries involve your thoughts, values, and opinions. You might find it helpful to write down your thoughts and feelings about your personal boundaries. Then you can return to the list in the future to help you make difficult decisions.

Reflect on any times where you have said "yes" but regretted it. Take time to write down or otherwise reflect upon any times in the past that you have gone beyond what makes you feel comfortable. Ask yourself about the people involved and the situations where these things happened. Examining past events this way can help you to make better choices next time.

Listen to your feelings. Your feelings have a great deal to tell you about where you should set your limits. Anything that makes you feel resentment or discomfort should raise a red flag for you. Sometimes anger, too, can be the result of going beyond your personal limits. If a situation or personal interaction makes you feel resentful or a level of discomfort that is not reasonable, then ask yourself what is causing that feeling. Do you feel taken advantage of or not appreciated? Are you responding that way because of someone else’s expectations about you? Feelings of resentment and discomfort can both be signals that you are not setting limits where you should.

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