It happens like this. Your co-worker comes strolling down the hallway and peers around the corner at you. You look up, annoyed by the interruption. She then quickly asks, “I was not able to finish my report for the boss. Can you wrap it up for me?”
Time slows. You are now thinking about how to respond, but nothing feels quite right. So, as always, you say, “Sure.”
You might say “sure” because you really should help. But this is often not the case. “Sure” comes from a place of defense — a need to please and be liked by the right people.
But let me share a secret. We often say “sure” because we lack confidence to say and do what we know is right. When it comes to confidence, those who have it always seem to shine — while those who are meek and afraid are taken advantage of.
I am referring to the type of confidence that gives us internal fortitude, not the outlandish bravado that some show to mask deep fears. Confidence is easier said than internalized. It usually develops over time, with practice, patience, and perseverance. But there is no doubt that to succeed in life, it is a must.
So, do you know the one word that confident people say most? It is obvious when you think about it — that word is “no.”
Here are a few reasons saying “no” can help you be your best and help those around you achieve as well. It is also why confident people are not afraid of the word.
Reaffirms your priorities
The most confident people plan ahead. They have clearly defined goals and know what it takes to get there. This helps them prioritize what is important in their lives — and ignore what does not align with their goals. Every “yes” should align with these goals. If something does not, the answer is “no.”
Sets clear expectations
The word “yes” is often said out of obligation. The problem is that “yes” people tend to make promises that they cannot always deliver on. Frequently, they fail to get every job done. If you do this, it damages the confidence and trust that your team will start to place in you. And when real chances to shine arise, you will be passed over.
Broadcasts your value
We all know the stars whom we can count on to produce great work with a positive attitude. We rely on them. Saying “no” to irrelevant requests reminds people that you are important, have clear priorities, and that your work matters. You do not have time to focus on less important efforts.
The most confident people know who they are and how they add value. They do not need to prove their self worth by saying ‘yes’ to every request that is made of them.
We all get paid to set boundaries and clearly communicate what we should work on. This is what confident people do best. The next time someone asks you for a favor, do not blindly accept it without questioning its value. Over time, this habit will make you great and increase your confidence that every day you are getting even better.
How has saying “no” boosted your confidence?