Saying No In A World That Expects You To Say Yes

by Auriel Simmonds

Living in the twenty-first century, we’re constantly surrounded by opportunities. Opportunities at college, work and even in our personal lives. These can help us grow and learn important work and life skills as we experience new things. And most important of all, we’re encouraged to say yes. Always. It can sometimes feel like an obligation. But, in a world that is caught up in always being on the go, I think we need to learn how to say no.

More opportunities doesn’t always mean the more you learn…

An opportunity is only ever as good as the amount of effort you are able to put into it. Therefore, you may find that you are taking on multiple tasks and are struggling to keep up with them. In this case, you should probably reassess how much you’ve taken on. We all have limits, but our limitations are not weaknesses. They only become our weaknesses when we fail to recognise them. By taking on too many things at once, you won’t be able to put the most amount of effort into each. You tend to get more out of opportunities if you are able to focus on a single one and give all that you can. If you’re distracted by the different tasks you’ve taken on, you won’t be getting as much out of each opportunity that you could’ve had you taken on only one.

It takes courage to say no…

There’s no doubting that it’s important to challenge yourself. It helps you aim beyond what you’ve already proven that you’re able to do. This means that you are working to better yourself. This could be in your work life or just in terms of your personal achievements. But it takes confidence to know when the challenge is bigger than your capability. It doesn’t make you a failure to admit when you’ve taken on too much. It takes courage to be honest about your ability and not be defeated by it and instead move on. It’s a challenge in itself to recognise your limits and be able to continue working towards growing and learning by taking on new challenges.

Think about the long-term…

It’s important to consider what your long-term goals are in order to know when to say no to certain opportunities. Knowing what you want for yourself in the future means that you’ll be able to review potential opportunities and say yes to those that will help you get to where you want to be. Choosing to take on opportunities that will benefit you in your future endeavours is key. In doing this, you’ll be developing an understanding that will be useful later on while gaining experience in the present. This type of opportunity will allow you to work at your optimal level and achieve in coherence with your aspirations.

It’s difficult but worth it…

Saying no in a world that expects you to say yes can be difficult. But in the grand scheme of life, it will help you to achieve more and be a happier person while doing so. And still, you will be able to challenge yourself without getting to a point in which you feel overwhelmed and inadequate. Instead, you’ll learn to challenge yourself to a point in which you are able to achieve beyond what you’ve done and learn from your mistakes and be a better you.

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