Sometimes I have a hard time saying “no”. That results in me being over-committed, anxious and unfocused. I end up not spending time on the things that are really important.
A strategy for saying “no” to those unwanted obligations is important. When you want to say “no”, try saying “I don’t” instead of “I can’t”.
“I can’t” leaves it open to discussion. It opens you up to:
“Well, what’s in the way?”
“Let me help you get those things out of the way.”
It implies that you really want to, but you can’t.
Now, if that’s truly the case, then say “I can’t”, but if you just don’t want to commit to an unwanted obligation, then it’s better to say “I don’t”.
Studies show that people who say “I don’t” are more likely to decline the unwanted obligation and feel OK about it than people who say “I can’t”.
I’m David Marquet and that’s your Leadership Nudge.