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The graceful 'no'

Over this past month, I've been busy saying "yes" to life. I have set into motion quite a bit of change, including a move across country to explore new climes and opportunities. After all, what kind of life coach would I be, I quip to my friends and family, if I couldn't go through the processes I encourage and support my clients through?? I always have time to grow, and am keenly interested in making the most of every minute of my life; now more than ever, I feel this pressing need to live life to the fullest (we are not promised tomorrow)!

Saying "yes" is sometimes easier than saying "no," isn't it?

As we write the chapters of our lives, we often find that we can say "yes" to ourselves, and to others. But, it's also important to learn how to say "no" to others. Especially as we further recalibrate according to the priorities and goals we have set for ourselves.

Saying "no" sometimes makes space and time for us to create what we really want for ourselves.

Here are some better known and circulated phrases that you may use, or adapt, when you find yourself needing to create more time for your own priorities, or when you want to avoid giving too much or simply giving in...

"Thank you for thinking of me! I wish I could, but it's just not possible right now."

"I hate saying 'no' to you, but I really must at this time...!"

"I'd love to help you, but I just don't have the time."

"This isn't a good time for me. I have other commitments. I'll let you know if I can spend time on it later..."

"What a wonderful invitation! But I'm sorry I can't accept it, I'm otherwise committed..."

"I really wish that I could, but it's just...impossible. (or..."impossible right now.")"

"I'll have to say 'no' to that, but might I suggest..."

Remember, you don't have to volunteer your priorities: you have a right to them, with NO justification.

Also, do not request that someone ask you again later, if it's NOT an opportunity you are interested in, or if it's something you do NOT want to do.

If you truly want to help someone out, but can't help them yourself, you can suggest other ideas or connections for them...or, you can offer some other kind of support you might be open to. You might ask: "How else might I support you?" and see if there is a request that is more palatable for you!

If you have other ideas for the "graceful no," please feel free to drop me a note via this website.


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