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Category: Challenging Yourself (Page 1 of 2)

Saying NO

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” By Michael Hyatt of  Michael Hyatt”

I have a hard time saying no. Perhaps you do, too. I think it is more common than we think, especially for those who are empathetic or nurturing. We just hate the thought of hurting someone else’s feelings.

It was a long time before I noticed this problem in myself. For most of my career, I’ve had administrative assistants who said no for me. If someone had a request, they had to get through them first.

This gave me the buffer I needed to consider the request more carefully. I then let my admin decline on my behalf. The fact that I didn’t have to deliver the bad news myself not only kept me focused and productive, it also helped preserve relationships.

But here’s the thing. I didn’t realize what a gift this was. When I left the corporate world, I figured I could make it fine without an admin. That meant the requests all came straight to me. And, left to my own devices, I said yes to far, far too many.

A third of the time I wanted to kick myself as soon as I said yes. Another third of the time I wanted to kick myself shortly afterward. How did I get myself into this mess?

“Saying No has always been important,” says William Ury in his book, The Power of a Positive No, “but perhaps never as essential a skill as it is today.” The reasons he lists are the ones I experienced. All my yeses meant I was overcommitted, shortchanging my relationships, and unable to do my best work.

I bet you can relate.

The Reason We Struggle

Why do we have such a hard time saying no? Ury says it’s because we want to protect our relationships, and that’s definitely a big part of it. But we even say yes to perfect strangers. I think it has to do with keeping up appearances. We want to appear helpful or can-do. But it’s a trap.

When we say yes too often, we tend to hurt our relationships. Not only that, but our performance suffers, so it’s impossible to keep up appearances. We let everyone down, especially ourselves.

After a while of fielding all my own requests, I decided I needed an administrative assistantagain. But before I hired an admin, I started turning my no boat around on my own. How?

I resolved to say no to everything unless there was a compelling reason to say yes. I switched my default response from an affirmative to a negative. Things changed with just that determination, but I was able go even further when I wrote down five reasons for saying no.

Say No for a Better Yes

This list is the why behind the what. It turns out there are very good reasons for flexing your no muscle. If you struggle with this, I think these five reasons might help you as well.

Here’s what I wrote.

If I don’t say no,

  1. Other peoples’ priorities will take precedence over ours.
  2. Mere acquaintances—people we barely know!—will crowd out time with family and close friends.
  3. We will not have the time we need for rest and recovery.
  4. We will end up frustrated and stressed.
  5. We won’t be able to say yes to the really important things.

This last one was the clincher for me.

Here’s what Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch say in their book, How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty:

Out of guilt or fear of confrontation, we take on more projects, invest in someone else’s priorities.… In the process, we dissipate our most valuable personal resources—time, energy, and money—on things that aren’t important to us. Each time we agree to something without enthusiasm for interest, we waste a little more of these precious resources.

Now let’s turn that around. Every time we say no to something that is not important, we are saying yes to something that is: our work, our relationships, our resources, our margin.

Be Very Afraid

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” By Jillian Reilly of Braveshift”

There’s one statement we at BraveShift hardly hear spoken in workplaces. And yet it echoes off the halls. Silent and yet screamed, absent and yet everywhere, it’s as simple and familiar as it is taboo. A phrase we can probably remember saying when we were children – when Dad turned the lights off at bedtime, when Mom prepared us for the first day of school. But for most of us, as the years passed, the words stopped passing from our lips.

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Open Mind vs Closed Mind

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” By Ray Dalio of Farnam Street”

Why is it that some people seem to make constant progress in their professional and personal lives, while others appear to be doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over?

While the answer isn’t cut and dry, I’ve noticed an interesting mindset difference between these two groups: they approach obstacles and challenges very differently.

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Stretching past your fear

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“By Mary Jo Asmus, of Aspire”

Very few leaders will claim that they are fearful of anything. Other words might be used because the word fear in itself is frightful. They might say that they “avoid” something, “mistrust” someone, or have “anxiety” – perhaps more acceptable terms to use.

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5 tips to public speaking

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article courtesy of  Barbara.Nixon”

So, this week I did something that pushed me way way out of my comfort zone. Something that to be honest I never thought I’d ever do (but actually something I’d secretly wanted to have a go at) and definitely something that taught me so much about me as a person.

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Can You Keep a Secret?

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By Maya James , of  Thin Difference”

I recently bought an apartment. I mean like still have a couple of boxes to unpack, recently. As most of you know from first-hand experience or can imagine, purchasing property of any size can be daunting. To some extent, it was, but not nearly as bad as it could have been, and I think I know why. For the first time in my adult life, I have consciously done something extremely progressive for me. I have been keeping more secrets. Not bad secrets. The good kind — my joys, projects, dating exploits, large purchases (like my apartment) and travel plans. And it feels so good!

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Strength To Be Successful

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“By Amy Morin, Business Philosophy”

Becoming mentally strong will separate you from the pack and help you achieve higher levels of success.

Everyone possesses mental strength to some degree. But the stronger you are, the more likely you are to achieve bigger and better goals.

Here are seven reasons why you need mental strength to be successful

1. Mental strength conquers self-doubt.
Whether your ambition is to run a marathon, or your goal is to double your revenue, you’ll likely experience self-doubt at one time or another. Questioning your goal—and your ability to achieve it—is a normal part of the attainment process. But when you’re mentally strong, you’ll be able to reframe your negative self-talk so you can continue working toward your goal with increased confidence.

2. Mental strength keeps you motivated.
It’s easy to stick to your goals when you feel motivated, but motivation waxes and wanes. Mental strength will help you keep moving toward your goal, even on the days you don’t feel like it. You’ll be able to dig deep and discover the inner strength you need when you’re tired, discouraged or unambitious.

3. Mental strength helps you tune out unhelpful advice.
Whether you want to please others or prove them wrong, other people’s opinions can easily drown out your own voice. Mental strength will help you tune out the unhelpful criticism and bad advice from those around you. Being strong will help you stay true to your values and keep you focused on making the best decisions, regardless of the feedback you receive from those around you.

4. Mental strength ensures you’ll learn from your mistakes.
Hiding your mistakes or making excuses for your blunders increases the chances that you’ll repeat those mistakes again. Mental strength helps you humbly accept responsibility for your actions so you can truly learn from your mistakes. With each lesson you learn, you’ll grow one step closer toward reaching your goal.

5. Mental strength provides courage to face your fears.
Stepping outside your comfort zone is difficult, but mental strength gives you the courage to face your fears head-on. When you’re feeling strong, you’ll have confidence that you can tolerate discomfort and you’ll be willing to move forward, despite your distress.

6. Mental strength assists you in bouncing back from failure.
While failure causes some people to give up, mentally strong people bounce back from failure even better than before. Mentally strong people have a high enough self-worth that they’re able to tolerate repeat failure without fear of ridicule. Building mental strength will help you use failure as a stepping stone to future success.

7. Mental strength helps you regulate your emotions.
The road to success is often filled with emotional highs and lows. If you lack adequate skills to regulate your emotions, you’ll struggle to resist temptation, delay gratification and take calculated risks. Mental strength is the key to controlling your emotions, so your feelings don’t cloud your judgement or lead you astray.

There will always be obstacles and challenges that threaten to derail your road to success. Building mental strength will help you develop resilience to life’s inevitable obstacles so you can overcome setbacks with confidence.

7 Reasons You Need Mental Strength To Be Successful

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“Amy Morin, of”

Becoming mentally strong will separate you from the pack and help you achieve higher levels of success.

Everyone possesses mental strength to some degree. But the stronger you are, the more likely you are to achieve bigger and better goals.

Here are seven reasons why you need mental strength to be successful:

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5 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do on the Weekends

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How are you spending your Saturdays and Sundays? Here’s how to make sure you’re not wasting them.

If you’re like most people, you probably want to spend your Saturday and Sunday sleeping in, only to roll out of bed and onto the couch to veg out in front of a little mindless TV—but just until it’s time to change out of your sweats and into real clothes for dinner and a fun night of drinking. Right? Yeah, that’s most people, but not entrepreneurs.

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The Classic Goldilocks Problem: How to Ask Your Boss for Just the Right Amount of Work

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“By Sara McCord, of”

In an ideal world, you’d have a perfect amount of work to fill your day. But let’s be real: The odds that you’ll just show up and be met with the exact right number of tasks are slim. It’s a lot more likely that you’ll (at least at times) feel overwhelmed, underutilized, or downright bored.

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