The disease to please.

pleaseI took one for the team today.

Actually I did the same yesterday too.

In fact I’ve been doing a lot of it recently. Largely because I have a real issue saying “no” to people. The word “yes” seems to fall from my lips far too readily.

To me it feels really good to be the go-to girl: the one that everyone comes to for a solution to their problems. Huzzah. I’m worth my weight in gold.  (That’s a lot of gold btw.)

Well, ermm, no. Not really. The reality is that if I allow every request to divert my attention away from the important stuff, there’s a distinct likelihood that a lot of people will end up frustrated. Me included.

By adding yet another task to an already overflowing / full to the brim / rammed to the rafters style to-do list I’m creating a situation that can only end badly. By committing to work that I simply can’t accomplish on quality or on time I run the risk of jeopardising my credibility in the business. I become a bottleneck. Oh yeah – and I’ll stress myself out to boot – not to mention the stress I cause to the people I work with.

The logical solution would be for me to say “no”, right? No. Well, yes. But think about the word “no” for a second – it’s such a little word, but such a big one too.

You can say “no” with respect, you can say “no” promptly and you can say “no” and head the task off to someone who might say “yes”. The problem is that most of the time it’s far easier to say “yes”.

But just saying “yes”, because I can’t bear the short-term pain of saying “no”, isn’t going to help me get the job done.

Saying “no” gives me room to manoeuvre. It means that I have the option to say “yes” to the more important stuff that comes along. And I’d rather have room to manoeuvre and some options (baby).

Time for a change me thinks.

It’s become abundantly clear to me that I’ve spent a long time finessing this reputation of mine for always jumping into the fray and sorting out everyone else’s stuff.  I know there are a few people who won’t like my new approach. However by practicing the word “no” on people – only when it’s necessary, not all time mind – I’ll end up making more people happy. Including me.

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