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Take Cost of Your Life –

Within the premiere episode of her podcast Wiser than Me, Emmy award profitable actress Julia Louis-Dreyfuss interviewed 85-year-old actress-fitness expert-activist Jane Fonda. The podcast relies on the premise that we will be taught a factor or two from the experiences of older girls to not make the identical errors that they did. In a dialog which coated subjects 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 an entire sentence.” 

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

In my new e book The Energy of Saying No: The New Science of The right way to Say No that Places You in Cost of Your Life, I introduce the idea of Empowered Refusal – a method 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 method of claiming no that offers voice to what issues to you, not a rejection of the asker. 

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

Think about the next situation: You’ve gotten simply accomplished your annual evaluation along with your supervisor during which you described an concept you have got been serious about. She responds favorably to your concept and agrees that it will be actually good for enterprise and implies that if it really works it will make your upcoming promotion a no brainer. You’re motivated by this and determine to put aside a few hours after work each Friday to develop this concept as your individual private ardour venture. 

Now, think about that it’s a Friday night and an entire bunch of individuals at work are headed to a neighborhood restaurant for drinks and dinner and invite you to go. You’re dedicated to working in your venture, 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 provide an apology “I’m sorry, however I can’t as a result of I actually must work on this venture”. What my analysis exhibits is that if you provide you with excuses or say a wishy-washy no as if you’re working towards your individual will, you usually tend to be persuaded by your folks (“C’mon, it is going to be enjoyable! why don’t you’re employed tomorrow”) and succumb to the social stress. 

Intention, Consciousness, and Readability

As a substitute, if you happen to change 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 individual life. In saying no to your office colleagues, you may say “I don’t exit on Friday’s, it’s ardour venture day.” By merely switching “I can’t” to “I don’t” you might be extra seemingly to have the ability to stick with your plan and likewise acquire the respect of your friends. 

The Artwork of Refusal

In my e book I describe a set of three competencies which you can develop and follow to grasp the A.R.T. of empowered refusal. The acronym A.R.T. stands for 

A. – Consciousness

R. – Guidelines, not Choices

T. – Totality of Self 


Due to the you-centeredness of empowered refusal, a key ingredient you’ll want to develop is self-awareness. To say “no” to one thing successfully, you’ll want to look inwards and be clear about your function and what you see as significant to you. It is advisable to develop an understanding of your individual values and beliefs and a imaginative and prescient of what success and happiness seems to be prefer to you. It is advisable to put money into understanding solutions to questions like: What sparks pleasure in you? What’s your rockstar high quality? What holds you again? Do you have got chatter in your head that you’ll 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 enable you determine what to say sure to and what to say no to. 

Guidelines, not Choices:

Armed with self-awareness, you then want to determine easy guidelines to information your choices 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 dedication. Once we look inwards and arrange a system of private insurance policies, we are going to discover it simpler to say an empowered no. As an example, 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 if you use empowered language like “I don’t” or “I at all times” “I by no means” you’ll 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 strengthen 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 an important superskill for profession girls. 

saying no

Ladies Are More and more Confused and Burnt Out

A current examine by Deloitte finds that 54% of Gen Z girls report being pressured 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 examine finds that girls are experiencing unprecedented ranges burnout within the office. Why are girls so pressured and more and more burnt out at work? 

One clear motive is that girls are considerably extra prone 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 occasion). 

Studying – DECIDING – to Say NO

Prior to now decade or so, I’ve taught the A.R.T. of empowered refusal to a whole bunch of ladies executives and have seen that after we be taught 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 determination that we make: if you say sure to one thing, you need to 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 each 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 cellphone 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 convincing sure to the issues that matter and an empowered no to all the things else?  

This visitor publish was authored by Vanessa Patrick, PhD

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

Ms. Patrick is a outstanding scholar in her subject and serves on editorial and coverage boards of main tutorial journals, and she or he is presently 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 shopper aesthetics for the Journal of Client Psychology (2010) and the Journal of the Affiliation of Client Analysis (2019).


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