Learn to Say No. It’s Not that Hard.

I need to say no to something and I’m dreading it. I’m envious of people who can say “no” and be totally fine with it. My mouth literally drops and I’m in awe. I’m a self-proclaimed bad breaker upper. Always have been. But I’ve come to a point in my career and life where I really need to prioritize my activities. I need to let some things go. So I’m psyching myself up for the big no moment.

Here’s my strategy:

Be open and honest. I’m passionate about this responsibility and overall organization, but am spending too many hours and am missing out on other opportunities. I’ll use the legendary “I” statements and keep my explanation short and sweet.

Do it in person. These types of situations are usually handled and received better in person than through a phone call, email or text. I will continue to see and interact with the organization and volunteers for years to come. I’m not planning on burning any bridges.

Take on a smaller task. I’m currently involved in too many things with this organization. I need to own a smaller piece of the pie. I’ll pick something that I really like and do it well!

Don’t feel guilty. This will be a hard one for me. To lessen the guilt I feel, I will help transfer my responsibilities to someone else and be available for counsel as needed. I will also appreciate the NEW opportunities I get to do with this time I’ve freed up – Woo Hoo (ok, maybe guilt won’t be as bad as I think)!

Now that I’ve planned this out it’s not so daunting. I’m already feeling liberated and envisioning some freed-up time to focus on other items. Wish me luck with my break up!

Kathy Wachtel