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Take Cost of Your Life –

Within the premiere episode of her podcast Wiser than Me, Emmy award successful actress Julia Louis-Dreyfuss interviewed 85-year-old actress-fitness expert-activist Jane Fonda. The podcast relies on the premise that we will study a factor or two from the experiences of older girls to not make the identical errors that they did. In a dialog which lined matters from like to train to parenting, Julia asks Jane a remaining query: What piece of recommendation would you give your 21-year-old self? And Jane Fonda replied, “No is a whole sentence.” 

Jane Fonda is amongst many well-known individuals from Oprah to Maria Shriver who advocate the significance of claiming no, particularly for ladies. However how do you talk an efficient no? How do you say no in a manner that maintains your relationship with the asker and retains your status intact? How do you refuse somebody in a way that’s not fraught with anxiousness and riddled with battle? 

In my new ebook The Energy of Saying No: The New Science of The way to Say No that Places You in Cost of Your Life, I introduce the idea of Empowered Refusal – a manner of claiming no that’s persuasive and doesn’t invite pushback from others. An empowered no stems out of your id and provides voice to your values, priorities, preferences and beliefs. It’s a manner of claiming no that provides voice to what issues to you, not a rejection of the asker. 

Study the ability of claiming no to take cost of your life.

Take into account the next state of affairs: You’ve simply accomplished your annual overview along with your supervisor during which you described an concept you’ve got been fascinated about. She responds favorably to your concept and agrees that it could be actually good for enterprise and implies that if it really works it could make your upcoming promotion a no brainer. You might be motivated by this and determine to put aside a few hours after work each Friday to develop this concept as your personal private ardour undertaking. 

Now, think about that it’s a Friday night and an entire bunch of individuals at work are headed to an area restaurant for drinks and dinner and invite you to go. You might be dedicated to working in your undertaking, however how do you say no to your work colleagues? Maybe you attempt to provide you with an excuse “I’ve to work late” or tentatively supply an apology “I’m sorry, however I can’t as a result of I actually must work on this undertaking”. What my analysis reveals is that while you provide you with excuses or say a wishy-washy no as in case you are working in opposition to your personal will, you usually tend to be persuaded by your mates (“C’mon, it is going to be enjoyable! why don’t you’re employed tomorrow”) and succumb to the social strain. 

Intention, Consciousness, and Readability

As a substitute, when you exchange saying “I can’t” with “I don’t” you come throughout as taking a agency stance and don’t invite pushback or negotiation. In my analysis I discover that “I don’t” conveys empowerment and places you within the driver’s seat of your personal life. In saying no to your office colleagues, you would possibly say “I don’t exit on Friday’s, it’s ardour undertaking day.” By merely switching “I can’t” to “I don’t” you might be extra doubtless to have the ability to keep on with your plan and likewise achieve the respect of your friends. 

The Artwork of Refusal

In my ebook I describe a set of three competencies which you could develop and apply to grasp the A.R.T. of empowered refusal. The acronym A.R.T. stands for 

A. – Consciousness

R. – Guidelines, not Selections

T. – Totality of Self 


Due to the you-centeredness of empowered refusal, a key ingredient you might want to develop is self-awareness. To say “no” to one thing successfully, you might want to look inwards and be clear about your function and what you see as significant to you. It’s essential develop an understanding of your personal values and beliefs and a imaginative and prescient of what success and happiness seems wish to you. It’s essential spend money on understanding solutions to questions like: What sparks pleasure in you? What’s your rockstar high quality? What holds you again? Do you’ve got chatter in your head that you might want to silence? This deepened self-awareness will allow you to sift between the “good for me” actions and the “not good for me” actions and provide help to determine what to say sure to and what to say no to. 

Guidelines, not Selections:

Armed with self-awareness, you then want to determine easy guidelines to information your selections and actions. I name these easy guidelines private insurance policies. Private insurance policies assist strengthen your refusal and empower you to say no with conviction and willpower. After we look inwards and arrange a system of non-public insurance policies, we are going to discover it simpler to say an empowered no. As an illustration, your work colleagues usually tend to arrange an outing on Thursday and invite you for that, in the event that they know you might be unavailable on Fridays. 

Totality of Self:

A refusal is an act of communication and while you use empowered language like “I don’t” or “I all the time” “I by no means” you might want to accompany these phrases with empowered physique language and non-verbal gestures like a heat smile, by leaning ahead and with pleasant gestures to bolster that your refusal is about you and never a rejection of the asker. Do not forget that empowered refusal is a whole-body exercise that entails each verbal and non-verbal communication cues to be efficient. 

So that’s the A.R.T. of Empowered Refusal in a nutshell. Now let’s take a look at why it’s a necessary superskill for profession girls. 

saying no

Girls Are More and more Careworn and Burnt Out

A current research by Deloitte finds that 54% of Gen Z girls report being harassed all or more often than not (solely barely greater than 45% of millennial girls) in comparison with 39% of Gen Z males (37% millennial males). Equally, a McKinsey research finds that ladies are experiencing unprecedented ranges burnout within the office. Why are girls so harassed and more and more burnt out at work? 

One clear purpose is that ladies are considerably extra more likely to say sure to office requests, really feel pressured to ship outcomes on time and tackle unpromotable duties (duties which are time-consuming however not associated to efficiency on the job, like cleansing the breakroom fridge, planning an workplace lunch or organizing a retirement get together). 

Studying – DECIDING – to Say NO

Up to now decade or so, I’ve taught the A.R.T. of empowered refusal to a whole lot of ladies executives and have seen that after we study to say no to the issues that don’t matter, we permit ourselves the chance to reside a much bigger, higher and extra purpose-driven lives. The A.R.T. of empowered refusal makes salient the inherent trade-off in any choice that we make: while you say sure to one thing, you must say no to one thing else. 

One of many strongest advocates for the ability of claiming no through the years has been Oprah Winfrey. On April 10, 1994, Oprah wrote the phrases that she retains on her desk as a every day reminder: “By no means once more will I do something for anybody that I don’t really feel instantly from my coronary heart. I cannot attend a gathering, make a telephone name, write a letter, sponsor or take part in any exercise during which each fiber of my being doesn’t resound sure. I’ll act with the intent to be true to myself.”

We have to ask ourselves this Oprah-inspired query: Am I saying a powerful sure to the issues that matter and an empowered no to every part else?  

This visitor put up was authored by Vanessa Patrick, PhD

Vanessa Patrick is the Affiliate Dean for Analysis, Govt Director of Doctoral Applications (PhD and DBA), a Bauer Professor of Advertising and lead college of the Govt Girls in Management Program on the Bauer Faculty of Enterprise on the College of Houston.

Ms. Patrick is a distinguished scholar in her discipline and serves on editorial and coverage boards of main educational journals, and she or he is at the moment an Affiliate Editor for the Journal of Advertising Analysis and the Journal of Advertising. She has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Client Analysis, Journal of Client Psychology and the Journal of Retailing and on the coverage board of the Journal of the Affiliation of Client Analysis. She has co-edited particular points on client aesthetics for the Journal of Client Psychology (2010) and the Journal of the Affiliation of Client Analysis (2019).


Ms. Profession Lady strives to offer useful insights you should use. To see extra from our columnists and visitor authors, test these outOr subscribe to our weekly e mail that includes our newest articles. We’re additionally current on Medium!



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