There are a lot of reasons why it’s hard to say NO, especially for women. Some of these could be:
When you have to say no someone or you have to say no to a really cool opportunity, it feels like:
Did you know that a stronger “YES” makes it easier to say “NO”?
I think I originally started talking about this in my Dynamic You Program and it’s an absolute favorite concept of my clients.
Torn between saying “Yes” or “No”
As I share some examples see if you can relate:
It was a time when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I was putting together a big summit. I was coaching my clients. My assistant was going to be finishing up. There was just a lot on my plate. Then my husband and my kids said to me that they wanted to go skiing. That’s a great idea, and I wanted to go too; however, the other part of me was already feeling overwhelmed.
Moms, you know what it’s like getting the family ready for anything! There's a lot to prepare: kids clothes, skis, boots, snacks… then carrying it all, putting it all on and then taking it all off. I didn’t want to do any of it and I didn’t think I could handle it anyway.
I had to think about what was important. My family is important- yes. My relationship with them is important- yes. Exercise is important- yes. But at that specific moment, I was feeling like my mental health was the most important. What I really just needed was time to myself. I sat with that realization for a while. I’ll admit I shed a few tears.
I told my husband that I really don't want to go. That I wanted to be alone, have some downtime, and just be by myself. He was understanding. The most important thing was that I said YES to me! Which then made it easier to say NO to them. That’s a hard decision because as a Mom I usually pick my family. But in this case, I really had to choose myself.
PRESSURE TO SAY YES:
Another example was when I was on a board and was asked to take on more roles than what I was already doing. I said, “No, I can’t take on more.” When I was pressed a little further, I said, “No, I was busy.”
What's crazy is that the response back to me was, “Well, we're all busy.” Side note, saying “No” is a complete sentence. But most people just won't take no as an answer. I felt like I couldn't just stand confidently in my no and I had to give a reason. I agree we were all busy, but I was the only one on the board with children. Not to say that other people aren't busy without kids, but if you have kids or even fur babies, you are responsible for them 24/7 and you need to do so much for them.
My free time was super limited, so I had to say “No”. I was already giving lots. I started to feel bad and thought that maybe I needed to take on more because everybody was taking on more.
I had to look at it from a different angle, “What do I need to say YES to?”
Once I got really clear on the things I wanted to say YES to, I was asked again by the board to take on more roles. I replied this time with more confidence, “I would love to but I'm saying YES to strengthening my marriage and my relationship with my children.”
The little change in my answer and a reframe to how I spoke about it had me stand very firmly in that Yes. YES to putting some of my own priorities before this request.
SAY YES TO YOUR OWN GOALS
I had a client who was running an event at her child's school for many years. It was taking a lot of her time and energy away from her business, family and herself. I asked her, “Is it time to pass that off to someone else at the school to do?” She responded, “Ya maybe. My daughter graduated a few years ago.” What?! So she was doing this for the school PAC to raise money for a school and her child wasn’t even going there anymore.
Then I asked her what she would do with that time and energy. She said she’d:
It was hard for her to say NO for many years, but now she found her stronger yes. It was hard for her to pass this off to someone else. But as soon as we put it in that perspective of what would you say YES to instead, it was super clear and she delegated it off her plate.
All of these have shown me that when we have a STRONG YES it’s easier to say NO.
So what do you wish you could say yes to in your life?
What are you saying YES to in the world? Or mainly, what do you want to say YES to and then look at all the things in your life that you really want to say NO to.
So what now?
Make a list of all the things you would like to say NO to and all the things you wish you could say YES to. I don't know how many times I've heard from clients that they wish they could have more fun:
You can have everything you want, just not all at the same time. But how sad when your life is filled with things you don't want.
You don't have to keep saying YES to things you don't want in your life. Yes, we have to honor some obligations or commitments or priorities in order to really care and support people we love most. But on that day I said YES to myself and stayed home by the end of the day when my family got home, I was ready to welcome them back. I was rested. I felt calm. I felt grateful.
When I've said YES to my family instead of saying YES to that board, it made a difference.
Look at every area of life.. all 10 areas and ask yourself, Where do I want to say yes? And where do I need to say no? Then leave a comment. Let me know how this goes. If you're having trouble with the conversation where you’ll be saying NO, that is one of my specialties. Reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you feel like you’re dropping the ball and don’t know how to get back on top?
We have this metaphor about juggling balls in our lives with all of the tasks we are trying to get done. When we forget something or don’t do something we say, “Oh I dropped the ball on that.”
This could just be a normal occurrence because you always have too much on your plate, and you're always busy. You're always running from one thing to another. Or maybe it's because life got busy all of a sudden:
Even your kids, softball, and coach add another layer of responsibility. I know that you want to be on top of things. I know you want to be the one who not only does what they say, but also does it in a way that has great results.
You don't want to be just doing things at 50%. I know you want to get things done the right way andon time with the best results possible.
What do we do when we have so many balls we’re juggling or so many plates that we’re spinning? How do we get through that time where it feels crazy?
In one way or another, we’re going to drop something, forget something, not complete something and not do the best job we wanted to do.
Imagine we’re juggling so many balls when life gets overwhelming and we’re bound to drop a ball here or there. That can be a problem. Again imagine we’re juggling balls but this time, some are glass balls and some are rubber balls. If you drop a rubber ball they will bounce and you can just pick them up later. But if you drop the glass balls they will be damaged or break when you drop them.
First of all, how do you know which are glass balls and which are rubber balls? Well, I have to let you know that this will change constantly. It's really about you sitting down with all the areas of life.
Things like your health, kids, and finances are usually the glass balls. If you drop them, they will crack, or break and there will be consequences:
You have to ask yourself, "At this moment in time, which areas of my life are the most important?" By most important, I mean, which areas if dropped, will break, will crack, and there will be consequences. Let me go through the different areas:
Look at all areas of your life and ask yourself, which are my top priorities right now in life?
I'd say maybe you have three or four glass balls. Oftentimes, when life gets overwhelming or when we get sick or something extra falls onto our plate, this is when we have to go into “maintenance mode”. This means the mode where you figure out what your glass balls are, which are rubber balls, so your focus is on the important ones and then you don't have to worry about those areas as much. You can drop or lower your standards and your attention to those areas.
For example, the time when my son broke his femur. He was about two and a half. He was in a hip spica cast, basically a full body cast. With that, he was at home and he needed me for everything. You know how toddlers are. They want a lot and very quickly.
I'm working from home, but I'm also caring for him. So I knew that things like cleanliness of the house or seeing my friends and time with my husband at that point just wasn't as important. These were a few of the balls that I could just let bounce. They were rubber.
Other times like in the passing of my father, or even in the time that he was in palliative care, I knew that my glass balls at that moment were my family, my health, my friends, and my spiritual life. My business, I put on the backburner (other than serving my current clients), also my personal development and fun and recreation. These other areas just were not on my radar.
What you can do
I ask you now, based on where you are in life, which are the glass balls that you're juggling, and which ones are your rubber balls? Now that you know that, what do you do with that information?
You need to make sure that your calendar has time for the glass balls. That your schedule adds in focus time so you can do things to help those areas, strengthen them, or check things off on your list. Then look at the rubber balls. What does it mean to let things go in those areas, to let things slide or to go into maintenance mode where you just maintain that level, or you let it go just slightly below your satisfaction level and you don't put as much focus on it? If it works for you financially, you can also bring in help for those areas, like a cleaner, a meal service, or take an Uber instead of the bus to save time.
What does it look like if the rubber ball involves other people? For example, if you were to do this with friends, you can reach out to friends and say, “Hey, I've got this big project at work right now, so I'm not going to be able to make our weekly meal out or a weekly call. It's just for the next three weeks, and then I would love to reconnect with you all.” I’m sure they will understand.
Maybe you've been reading every day for 10 minutes or a half hour and you know that you need that extra time to be able to check in on a family member. Great. So be it. You just don't read as much for that week or two.
You get to make the decision. You get to decide what you are keeping and what you are putting on pause or just not putting as much time and energy into. This idea of we're all juggling glass balls and rubber balls really just comes down to:
You don't have to be on top of everything in every single area of life. This tactic is really one of the easiest ways to rebalance your life to be able to refocus on the things that are most important and will really help you to move forward. As a reminder, each time you go into “Maintenance Mode” could give you a different set of priorities, a different set of glass balls.
You just really need to be the one to make that decision, then put a plan in place and let those around you know if they're going to be involved or affected by it. Many times in my life, I have had to go into maintenance mode. I have had to let the rubber balls just bounce and bounce and bounce. This is not a forever thing. Eventually you do get to pick those balls up and honor those priorities again. But at certain points in your life:
It doesn't matter. What matters is your sanity. What matters is your priorities. What matters is you're going to be able to overcome this and move into a time where you get to pick all those balls up again and juggle them while feeling calm and confident.
If you're looking for a way to find more balance in your life or to go deeper on your priorities and how to really figure out which balls are glass and which balls are rubber, then reach out and let's do the “Life Balance Audit”. This is a complimentary session I offer from time to time which will help you see where you can balance your life. I have 5 to gift right now and you can book yours by messaging me at email@example.com.
Do you need a proven method to boost your confidence?
Confidence is one of those things some people think either you're born with or you're not, but the truth is it’s something you can build in yourself.
You’ll love this one simple and easy action that you can do to boost your confidence in any area of life and also at any time in your life.
The problem with confidence is that we feel like we need to be confident with everything, right from the very beginning. This is almost never the case, especially with something that's new.
I look back now after publishing four of my own books and being published in three others. I can remember that first time, that idea of “Oh my gosh, I'm going to put a book together. I’ve never done this before. How am I going to do this? I'm freaking out!”
Then, my saboteurs were coming in and saying a whole bunch of stuff like:
Have you heard those voices before, the limiting beliefs can hold you back?
Well, the easiest way to shut them up and the fastest way to boost your confidence is to say you're going to do something and then do it.
Let me illustrate
If you say, “I'm going to write a book” it might feel like a big leap. It’s a big thing to be taking on and in saying it, you could be thinking, “I'm not going to feel confident if I say that I'm going to be an author.”
Instead, could you just do that first step? Now, what would be the first step to writing a book? Sit with that question for a minute. What would be the first step to writing a book?
Do you think that you could figure out that one first step and then do it? So let's say that you were going to write a book and that first step was to come up with what you would write about. How long do you think it would take you to figure that out? Maybe just a half hour asking yourself some questions and brainstorming. Who knows you might already have it off the top of your head.
So let’s say the first task towards writing your own book was choosing a topic/message, or deciding whether it's fiction or nonfiction.
Just make sure the step is something you 150% believe you can do. Then when you say you'll do it, you commit to doing it, and you actually do it - this is how you build confidence.
If you don't know how to do the step, how could you figure that out? You break it down even smaller than that. For example, to figure out the topic for your book here’s how you could get it done.
See, these are all easy first steps. What seems to be “a hard first step'' can be broken down even smaller.
Then the next step of committing could be, “I'm going to have a conversation with a coach, a book publisher, a friend, or a client. I'm going to book that call. I'm going to have that call.” What if that was your first step? Are you 150% sure that you could do that? If the answer is yes. Then you do it.
When you commit to something that you 150% know that you can do, that you have the ability to do, and that you will do, then you go do it. That is you proving you can do the things you say you'll do. That you can be committed and follow through. This is the easiest way to build confidence.
Here’s another example, if your goal is to increase your confidence in working out or going to the gym, the first step can be to call a gym and ask about membership? It could be buying that new pair of running shoes!
Though calling the gym is not working out, just doing this first step, this small first step, saying you'll do it, actually following through and doing it and having the result, this will build your confidence.
Then when you get a whole bunch of these “150% I can do this” sort of steps, you build confidence with each step, and you get closer and closer and closer to the goal.
This is how I originally started with putting together the Dynamic You book. What's it about you ask? Well, since I was leading a group called Dynamic Women, everyone kept asking me, “So Diane, what's a dynamic woman?” I thought maybe it was time to actually share the answer. Then I had a conversation with a friend who walked me through what else would be in it. We talked about it and she was able to pull the information out of me.
The first thing I committed to was the same as my example, what do I want it to be about? I 150% knew that I could come up with one topic. Then I 150% knew I could have a conversation with a friend and talk through it. By then talking it through, I committed to figuring out what the chapters would be by coming up with a framework. The framework was having the Nine Pillars of being a Dynamic Woman. I committed to defining the Nine Pillars, and then I committed to fleshing out each chapter.
I’ll admit I was freaked out when I thought, ‘I'm going to write a book.’ The funny thing is I also had to do it in 90 days because it was being purchased for a women’s convention that I was being flown in to present at. But that's what ended up happening because all I did was commit to the next step that I could 150% do.
Then Your Confidence Grows More!
Then not only do you build confidence by doing those small steps, but then you feel more confident to take on bigger goals and opportunities. Ones that push your boundaries, different steps, different tasks that you never would have thought of doing before. I would have never thought of formatting my own book, and publishing it on Amazon. I never would have thought to do a collaborative book and welcome other women to share their story not once but I did it twice. If you told me all that on day one, I wouldn't have believed it. I would have been freaked out. I would have thought, how can I ever do that?
Now the cool thing is, I'm so confident about putting out books that I have also shown my team how to publish a Journal and helped clients to put together their own books! But I never started that way.
Taking off the pressure of knowing every single step, and having to be ready for each of those steps on day one, helps to build your confidence because all you have to do is know what the next step and be 150% confident that you can do it, and then follow through.
I ask you now what area of life do you need to boost your confidence in?
So what do you do now? Figure out something that you want to accomplish and ask yourself, what is the smallest first step that you could possibly take, that you 150% believe, that you can achieve. Then go do it. You'll start to see what you can accomplish and your confidence increases.
I know you can figure out that 1st simple step and get it done!
The next step will increase in its level of difficulty. But you got this. You can do it. When you apply this, let me know how it goes. Comment below. Share in a post and tag me. Or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever felt that you had so many things vying for your attention that you wondered, “where should I focus my energy and attention?”
Probably. I’ll help you answer this.
Maybe in the past 20 months, you’ve had to keep checking with regulations, restrictions, and with ways of keeping everyone safe.
These are common thoughts:
And now it’s the start of 2022. Where you put your time, energy and attention is important for your success.
I’m going to ask you some powerful questions (because questions are always the things that move us forward).
The First Question
In 2021 and in past years, where have you invested your time, energy and money?
If I was to take your calendar I could probably see where you focused your energy and attention.
But what else didn’t make it in your planned schedule?
I hope you've got some idea of where you did focus. Moving forward, is that still where you want to focus your attention? Is that the best place to invest your time, energy and money?
Well, I'll tell you, the best places to choose are the ones that give you the biggest return on investment. You need to know that. What is going to be giving you the best ROI?
What area could you focus on that would actually give you a 10x return?
You know the area. It's you. You are where you should invest your time. You are where you should invest your energy. You are where you should invest your money.
Because you're going to have the biggest return, not just in your work or in your business, but in all 10 areas of life.
Sadly, as women, we tend to focus on other people’s needs. We forget about ourselves. We need to focus on ourselves and not feel guilty about it. And I find a lot of people invest in outward things. But why don't we invest in ourselves first? It could be that you grew up in a place or a time when you spend money on the things you needed like in the traditional sense like Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. You need shelter, so you’re paying your rent or you’re paying your mortgage. You need food so you’re paying for groceries. Same with medicine and also clothes.
All these different examples are items you really have to buy to be able to stay safe and secure.
Then there's the wants. Those cute shoes or handbag. Maybe some special spa services. The things that you think are the extras or that you still buy, but you're not getting as much of an investment back.
We've maybe been taught to go without it. You could feel like if you’re going to have any money to invest, it's going to be in marketing your business or in paying for services for your business. That's all great, but your yearly budget should also include personal development.
Some people wouldn't even think twice about putting 20, 40, or 100 grand down for university, but they wouldn't invest in:
What's the difference?
Answering these questions is going to bring some things into light and help you decide what you want to focus on.
You do get excited about stuff, right? What do you like? What excites you? What gets you all fired up? Do you get excited about watching your kids play sports? Do you get excited about playing the piano? Or maybe about cooking? Or your favorite TV show? Or a certain type of car? What gets you all fired up? What gets you all excited?
2. How excited do you get about your own potential?
Do you even get excited about your potential? Have you even thought about your potential? You're maybe like, “Oh, not really. I just kind of make goals and go for it.” But if you can get excited about your own personal potential and set goals around that, where could you be at the end of the year? Have you figured that out?
You may be thinking about goals, and you've written them down, and maybe written down a business plan or a strategy for the next 12 months. But have you planned about where you want to be and how you want to grow personally by the end of the year?
Imagine if you were just 1% better every single day. So you worked on your potential, and you stepped into that 1% every day. You did something to better yourself, whatever it may be:
Now, if you do that 1% every single day, by the end of the next 12 months, you'd be 365% better. That's all you really need to do.
How excited do you now get about your own potential? Have you thought about what your own potential is? Or do you feel like you're in the fixed mindset of “This is how I am and I'm just not good at that or not good at this or I've capped out where I can get promotions or I've kind of hit the level of my business success.”
We talk to kids about their potential:
We talk to kids about where they should go and what they need to do to get there. But are we doing that for adults still? I don't think so. Do you have a plan on what you need to do to be able to reach that full potential?
Probably not. Most of the people I speak with and the audiences I'm giving keynotes to or doing workshops for, they don't even know what they want. They don't know enough about themselves. And when they do well, they don't even celebrate their successes.
How can you step into your potential, if you don't even celebrate who you already are? I’m not talking about like potential to have this much in sales. I mean, your human potential.
Yes, we can get excited about business. We can get excited about goals, but not to be a downer,the only constant is you!
Jobs come and go. Some marriages come and go. People come and go. Health comes and goes. You are the only constant. You are the only one who will stay the same in your life, meaning you're the only one that will be there.
By staying the same, I don't mean that you're always going to be the same person. But you will be the only one or the only constant in your own story.
Where you should focus your attention then does come down to one question…
What do you want the end of your year to look like?
Now is the time to invest some time, energy and money into yourself. A great option is the Dynamic Year program where we will create a dynamic one page plan that you can use as a compass to tell you where to focus your resources. It’s all about making the achievement of your success easier and to increase your confidence while doing it. My clients do this program year after year and swear that it has increased their success not just that year but every following year. Check it out here.
In my next blog, I will share with you the second question that you need to answer.
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