Self-confidence is one of those things that is required if you want to live a life of success.
It’s easy to fall victim to self-doubt when we hit failures from time to time, but we must not let that lower our belief in ourselves.
In this episode, Ben Naumann and I talk about how to improve your self-esteem and your belief in yourself. Many entrepreneurs have so much belief in themselves and their abilities that they say you can take everything from them and they will be able to rebuild.
The secret to self-confidence
So what’s the secret to self-confidence? One tip that Ben and I have is to keep the promises you make to yourself.
It can be easy to set a New Years resolution that we quit on after 2 weeks. It can be easy to decide to get in shape and then skip the gym frequently.
If we slip into the habit of letting ourselves down, we will believe that our promises to ourselves are empty, and that will make changing our lives much more difficult.
You don’t have to go all in right away. If you want to get in shape and haven’t been working out at all, setting a goal to work out an hour every single day is going to be tough.
Start small. Go to the gym twice a week for 30 minutes each. Then build up to 3 times a week, and so on.
As you start to trust yourself again and know that you can keep promises you make to yourself, you will see everything else in your life also start to improve.
Like the saying goes,a rising tide lifts all boats.
Today’s post is inspiration to stop playing small. We are all guilty of this at times (myself included).
It’s cool to see that a lot of my podcast listeners look up to me like I’m some sort of celebrity or like I’ve already figured things out. But let me assure you that I’m only human… I also face moments in my life where I doubt my abilities and wonder if I have what it takes to achieve greatness.
There’s a quote I’ve heard that says “another level, another devil.” We constantly have challenges and as we become more successful, the problems we face just become larger.
Check out the video
Are you playing small?
Do you talk yourself out of thinking or doing more? If you find yourself thinking “I’ve never done that,” or “I’m not sure if I’m ready,” you are setting yourself up for failure.
It’s the little voice of self-doubt that makes us want to play it safe, to sit back, to stay comfortable. It’s that little voice that says “just keep your job, it’s safe, it’s what you know.”
However, that little voice, if we let it, can cripple us and destroy our dream before they truly have a chance to materialize.
Success leaves clues
Success leaves clues, and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Others who have come before us have achieved the levels of success that we sometimes think we are not capable of achieving.
But that should be enough to inspire us. If anybody ever accomplished something, you can, too. Be sure to surround yourself with mentors who are doing the things you want to do.
See how you can add value to them so that they take you under their wing and are more willing to go out of their way to mold you into success.
Achieve the impossible
On May 6, 1954, something incredible happened. You may have heard of Roger Bannister. If not, prepare to be amazed.
Prior to this date, it was thought to be impossible for a human to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. People thought that your heart would literally explode.
So, for decades, the feat was never accomplished. On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister broke a 4 minute mile, achieving what was thought of previously as impossible.
The crazy thing is that after he did that, several others started to accomplish that same feat shortly after.
Once others knew it was possible, they started to achieve the same feat!
The point I’m trying to make here is to look to others who inspire you. Realize that many goals you think are “out there” for you were also seemingly impossible to others who have achieved them.
You, too, can achieve the impossible. It all starts by understanding that things you consider “impossible” are actually possible and have been achieved before.
“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” – Winston Churchill
Today’s post is about gratitude. It’s important to be grateful for literally everything. Even the bad days. Even the failures. Everything.
Why? Because chances are we have much more than we realize. Sure, we could always have more. But we could also always have less.
I just watched The Lion King with my girlfriend on the way home from a friend’s wedding in Dallas yesterday. It’s the same story as the original, so if you haven’t seen it yet I don’t feel too bad about “spoiling” things for you.
Check out the video
*Spolier alert* – Mufasa dies. It’s still sad in the new movie even though I saw it coming.
What does that have to do with anything? Well, it shows life is fragile and temporary. We need to show everyone love and appreciation.
But the Circle of Life provides hope that we can kind of exist in another form, like how Mufasa is still up in the clouds and living within Simba.
After all, we learn in physics that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred. I still remember that even though I got a C in that class in high school.
Proud but never satisfied
A cool phrase I’ve heard is to be proud but never satisfied. This doesn’t mean you should always be unhappy. Be happy with what you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come. Just don’t let success allow you to settle for complacency.
Appreciate what you have now
We take life for granted many times. We take loved ones for granted. Everyone around you will one day be dead. Not to be morbid, just trying to be real.
Make sure you let people know you care about them, that they matter to you. And try not to get so caught up in chasing success and wealth that you ignore the simple joys of hanging out with people you genuinely like.
I want to share an extremely powerful video Gary Vaynerchuck published a few years ago with you.
As of today, it is his most viewed video. Within 3 years, it has amassed 4.8 million views.
Check out my video
Gary mentions that the biggest poison in us is regret. His vehicle for pushing hard is business, as that is his passion. He loves building businesses and competing.
Through that vehicle, he always pushes a lack of regret and how you should do everything possible.
“If anybody ever did it, then you can too.” Stop complaining! Nobody is listening. The market doesn’t care about your complaints. It rewards value that people bring to the world.
Gary goes on to say that you have to make one person, and that person is YOU. It’s like when you hear the safety presentation on an airplane. They say if the oxygen masks on the plane fall down, you are supposed to put your own mask on first before you can help others.
If you aren’t happy, how will you be able to work to make others happy?
Gary admits that he’s just trying to figure it out, and has been doing it for years in front of his audience. Obviously, it’s working. They key here is to take massive action. We’re all figuring it out.
Just be sure to ask yourself if you are truly living a life of no regrets.
Remember that we only have one life. So why live one that you’ll regret? Take chances, take risks.
We are all trying to figure this thing called life out. Remember Gary’s motivating line that “if anybody ever did it, you can too.” That is 100% true and so freaking inspiring.
“How you make your money is more important than how much you make.” -Gary Vaynerchuck
Do yourself a favor and just watch Gary’s video now, even if you’ve seen it before. It’s so well done.
The message really hits home and gets a fire under your butt to evaluate your life now and think about if it’s something you truly want. If not, it might be time to change something.
There’s a cartoon that shows two guys with pickaxes that are digging a tunnel to find diamonds. One of the guys has given up and has turned around, pickax thrown over his shoulder, and his head down.
He doesn’t realize that he is inches from breaking through, but we, the viewers, can see that he’s so close.
That’s how seeking success can be for us at times. We feel like we’ve put in enough time and effort and that we should be further than we are now. But what we might not know is that the breakthrough is about to arrive.
Check out the video
Listen to the podcast
I’m currently reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Jeff mentions how it’s the small, seemingly insignificant things that start to compound and build momentum in our lives. Sometimes, things we’ve done to get to where we are now can seem so unimportant and easy to do that we end up NOT doing them.
Just like how doing things right over time can start to build success, doing the wrong things or failing to stay consistent can cause us to backslide.
When we “skip a workout” or “have a cheat meal” more and more often, those little things start to build up. Then a year later, we wonder what the heck happened to our abs.
Travel back in time
A fun exercise is to look at memories either in your Instagram archive or Facebook memories to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished.
I see memories from a few years ago showing me doing things I cringe at now, like playing 4 hours of Xbox or being so drunk I didn’t remember the end of the night before.
I have come so incredibly far. I’ve gotten into real estate, I just passed my Texas real estate license exam, I’ve filed a patent, etc. I’ve stopped drinking almost entirely. I’ve started to wake up earlier. I like what I see!
Do you like the growth you see?
I’m hoping that you love the growth that you see. Now, if you look at your history and archive and notice that you are kind of stuck in the same place you were a few years ago, it might be time to set some goals and level up.
Sometimes, we feel like we’re doing all this work and that we’re just stuck in place with wheels spinning.
But realize the power of the slight edge. Like the continuous force water has to cut through rock and eventually become something like the Grand Canyon, the little things we do every day matter, and they matter a lot.
To borrow a few lines from the book:
What you do today matters. What you do every day matters.
“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” – Bill Gates
Try the exercise I mentioned of looking back a year, or 5 years, or more if you can. Social media platforms make it easy to look back on memories, which is always neat.
Hopefully, you’ve come really far! If you’ve come a long way in the last few years, let that motivate you to set bigger, better goals and continue the momentum.
If you’re kind of in the same spot… it’s time to level up.
Maybe you need to get some new friends, reach up to people in places you want to be in. You might have to leave the party-goer friends behind, or minimize time spent with them.
Take massive action as always. And remember that you are closer to success than you think.
Today I want to talk about Impostor Syndrome… it’s something that every entrepreneur or growth seeking individual will feel at some point. If anyone denies it, they are most likely lying.
Check out the video
If you haven’t heard of the term before, Impostor Syndrome is when you have that feeling like you’re a fraud. It’s when you kind of smile and act like things are going great on social media or when people ask about the business you started when you haven’t made a single dollar or sale yet.
The feeling overcomes you when you’re trying to pitch or sell your first client knowing damn well that you won’t make any money if you can’t close the deal.
Check out the podcast
It’s tough out there making your dreams happen! We feel like we’ve got to act like we’re successful and that we’re already where we want to be before we’re really there.
An article on Time says that an estimated 70% of people experience these impostor feelings at some point in their lives.
I’m convinced that we are all affected by it. I totally struggle with Impostor Syndrome. I like to keep it real and be very honest and humble. I let people know that my awesome invention idea has made no money and that it was a $40,000+ science experiment that I’ve kind of put on the shelf right now.
I’m definitely nowhere near where I want to be. Like AT ALL. I can’t afford a Lamborghini (YET). But my MINDSET and my THINKING are on the millionaire level… I joke with my accountability that I’m already a millionaire. My bank account just doesn’t know it yet!
Instead of saying “I can’t afford a Lamborghini” I think “HOW can I afford it?” And the “how” is through my entrepreneurial pursuits, mainly real estate currently since I’ve put the invention idea aside for the time being.
While I like to sprinkle in bits and pieces of my life and journey with you, I don’t just want to talk about me. This message is FOR YOU so that you can get to the next level.
First of all, let’s take three deep breaths together. Life is stressful and crazy. We don’t need to be killing ourselves and freaking out because we are not on track to hit our annual goals.
I’m not joking about the three breaths. Do it right now.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Feel better? Okay, know that right now, you are exactly where you need to be. Maybe you’re not as far as you thought you’d be by now. Trust me, that’s me, 100%. I’m behind on my goals, but at least I’m on TRACK. I have not given up and never will.
Be “proud, but never satisfied.” Being satisfied leads to complacency. It’s important to be grateful for all you’ve experienced and accomplished, but remember to stay hungry for more. Continue to push for the next level. And believe me, there is always another level.
One of my recent posts on Instagram had a long caption but started off by saying “life’s too short to not do what you love.”
If you’re doing what you love right now full-time, congratulations, you’re ahead of many! If you’re stuck doing something you hate, working a job that doesn’t excite you, or for a boss that drains your soul, use that as fuel to your inner fire.
Build up your savings, start making some investments, and work to build your escape vehicle so that you can move towards a life that you don’t need vacation from.
Believe it or not, everyone at every level fears losing what they’ve built. We all fear failure. Even virtual mentors that I have, who are millionaires, have admitted this during interviews.
It’s not like you magically get to a certain level where you can relax and turn down the effort. Once you achieve your goals, you set new ones.
Even with this podcast for example, to be completely honest, I had no idea where it would go. I just started recording podcasts, staying consistent and just letting it out into the wild without any idea of what was going to happen with it.
I remember being excited in January 2018 when I hit 125 downloads. A year later, my January 2019 downloads exceeded 19,000! Even now, 19,000 downloads a month seems like it’s not enough. A five year goal of mine is to grow to 100,000 monthly downloads. Once I get there, I’ll raise the bar again.
All I knew is that if I put in the work and kept doing the time and putting in the effort, that something would happen. It had to. I had hopes that the show would grow, but had no idea that it would snowball to what it is today.
Sometimes I have that feeling of “yeah, I’m a badass! I have this great podcast following and it keeps growing each month. I’m the man!”
Other times, thoughts creep in like “who am I to have a podcast? I’m not even successful yet.” Or “I don’t even have 1,000 Instagram followers… everyone who goes to follow me from my podcast will realize that I’m a fake.”
But then, I realize that I need to silence that voice. Everyone starts at 0. Winners start each day at 0 regardless of how many goals they’ve crushed. There’s always room for growth and improvement, I promise you.
Another important thing to remember is that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. It’s easy to scroll through Instagram for 10 minutes and feel depressed and behind as hell.
Everyone else is living their best life, and it can seem like we’re not. The only competition we have is with our previous selves. If you’re getting better than you were yesterday, you’re doing just fine.
Look at David Goggins. The dude lived in silence without being known for years! He was just doing his thing. Now, he’s a seemingly “overnight sensation,” and has been interviewed by people such as Tom Bilyeu with Impact Theory and Jay Shetty. As of the time of this recording, the guy has 1.3M followers. He’s such a boss, that he follows 0 people back on Instagram.
I have so many friends and contacts that reach out saying “man Chris you are killing it I’m so happy for you.” I’ve kind of smiled and been like “thanks!” when I am still trying to figure out how to get consistent real estate deals to bring in that income.
We all experience self-doubt:
Am I really good enough to do this?
Am I really qualified?
Should I be making this sale?
I don’t even know if I would buy this product from someone like me in this position
It’s a grind. We have to stay on the hustle. Get any self-doubt and limiting beliefs OUT OF YOUR HEAD. I stay extremely positive, sharing my message with the world rain or shine.
Next time you’re thinking “am I really the right person for this job” or “can I do this?”, change your thinking.
Tell yourself empowering affirmations like “I am the rightperson for this job. I am totally qualified. I have the experience. I’ve done the work. I have a proven method. Here are the results of the thing that I’m selling.”
You need to say these affirmations and believe them 100%. Grant Cardone talks about this when it comes to selling. You need to fully believe in what you’re selling or you aren’t going to be great at selling it. If you don’t even have that product if you don’t completely support it, then you’re not going to do a good job selling it, because you don’t truly believe in it.
You need to be the type of person who loves whatever you’re selling, whatever you’re pitching, and whatever you’re doing, because that love and that passion is going to show when you’re talking about it to others.
I like to think that this authenticity shows in my podcast and content. I post it because I love it and want to post about it. Sometimes you’ve got to do these “labors of love” without expecting any money in return. Like the saying goes, help enough people get what they want, and you will get what you want.
When you are passionate about something, it’s going to show. You’re going to have that authenticity. And the person on the other side isn’t going to feel like you’re just trying to sell them to make a commission. They will buy into your product and buy into YOU because they will start to connect with you and trust you.
So anyways, that’s my message for today. Do what you love. Do it well. Do the best you possibly can on whatever it is that you do. Sometimes, you have to do some stuff you don’t love to pay the bills until you can get whatever you do love to start making some money and support you. We all feel like impostors from time to time. We have to silence the inner voice of doubt and affirm to ourselves that we are the right person for the task at hand. We are capable of anything.
Just do you. Keep pushing, and give it your best. Get around positive and uplifting people that motivate and inspire you. That’s all we can do.
Pay no attention to the little voice in your head that says you aren’t qualified, or that you won’t make it. Focus on your WHY and you will find the HOW.
We all fear failing. But find solace in the fact that each loss brings you one step closer to a win. View failures as stepping stones to the next success. And then your fear of failure starts to decrease.
Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. And do what you feel is right. Of course, surround yourself with some people who have found success in whatever it is you want to be successful in. Success begets success.
You are exactly where you need to be. – me (today). I’m sure others have said this before, but I’m taking credit for it today!
Identify 3 limiting beliefs you tell yourself or that you have had recently and squash them.
Think of a time when you accomplished something that you thought you would fail at. Use this as fuel and PROOF that if you’ve done it before, you can absolutely do it again.
The next time you are feeling like an imposter, like a fake, remember this episode and what we talked about today. We all have those feelings from time to time. Think about what your future, best self would do, and then take the actions necessary to move forward.
At the Arete Syndicate Live event, Ryan Stewman, known as “the Hardcore Closer” made the audience do an amazing exercise. I’d like to share it with you. I had goosebumps after it…
If you’re at home or work, try to do this right now. If you’re driving or on the treadmill, seriously consider coming back and doing this later.
Stand up and close your eyes. While keeping your eyes closed, turn your head to the right.
Picture the best version of yourself.
What is your perfect self wearing?
What kind of shape is your best self in?
What kind of watch are you wearing?
Ok, are you ready to get goosebumps? While keeping your eyes closed, take a step to the right, into the shoes of your perfect self.
Do you feel empowered? Happy? Motivated?
Trust me… 1000 attendees at the event did this at the same time and it was incredible. I hope you enjoyed that exercise. I know I did. It’s certainly worth incorporating into a morning routine.
Today’s episode features an interview with my friend, Farhid Azari. He is up to several entrepreneurial ventures, including Poseidon Pressure Washing (where he does residential and commercial) as well as a new venture called DealStryker.
Check out the video
Listen to the podcast
In this episode, Farhid talks about:
Self awareness and understanding individuality
You have to understand your thinking process
How Farhid isn’t the greatest at any one thing, but how he is great at problem solving and critical thinking
Writing down ideas to problems and then testing them until you find the solution
How many people figure out what they need to do but fail to follow through
Marketing is a problem solving thing
Look at yourself from a third person perspective
How Farhid applied his own advice during some difficult times in his life
Practice self-awareness today by following Farhid’s tips. Remember that even when times are tough and you’re in a tough spot, there is always a way to dig yourself out of a hole.
The first step is recognizing that you are not where you want to be. Then you take action to write down what you need to do in order to get to where you want to go.
“Life happens FOR you, not TO you.” – Tony Robbins. One guy at the Arete Syndicate Live event last weekend kept saying this every time something annoying happened. It’s so true.
Here’s an example. The restaurant a group of us ate at was taking a really long time. Like, 30 minutes to get a table, then 20 minutes before the server even came to our table to take our order.
One guy in our group jokingly said “it’s okay, this is happening FOR us, not TO us.” We were all hungry, but this helped us laugh it off and really not make a big deal out of it.
When times get tough, they are happening for us to learn something. We will grow when we overcome these types of challenges.
Practice writing down some problems or challenges in your life right now. Or even some things that just aren’t quite as great as you’d like.
Write down steps or action you need to take to move forward.
One of my biggest fears is looking back at my life when I’m at the end and having a feeling of regret:
Regret of not trying everything possible
Regret of not giving my all
Regret of not having visited certain countries or having certain experiences
YOLO, you only live once. While this phrase is thrown around a lot in rap songs and pretty overused, I really do love it.
Watch the video
Why? Because it’s literally true. You really do only live once. You have only ONE shot at this life.
So often, we get caught up in worrying about what others think and how we’ll look if we try something and fail. It’s so easy to be afraid of trying new things or stepping outside of our comfort zone.
But… when we step back and take a look at the fact that tomorrow is not promised, what is there really to be afraid of?
Why not take a risk? Why not try something new?
Why not tell your crush how you feel?
Why not try that new business idea out?
What’s the worst that can happen?
That is something that you should ask yourself all the time. You’ll be surprised to find that the answer typically isn’t as scary as you may initially expect.
You want to start a business. What’s the worst that can happen? You raise money from investors, the business fails, investors lose money, and you might take a loss. Sucks, but it happens quite often.
You learn from your mistakes, you try again, and you do better next time.
As you listen to more and more content and podcasts about successful CEOs of popular companies, you realize that there were tons of failures along the way.
Many CEOs have a graveyard of ideas that didn’t work out for one reason or another.
Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from taking action.
On the other side of the coin, you can also ask yourself: what’s the best that can happen?
Listen to the podcast
What’s the best that can happen?
Let’s use the same example. You start a business. You raise money from investors. You do so well that you grow quickly and hire a successful team.
You go public and get acquired, have a great exit and become financially set for the rest of your life. The investors get a huge return on their investment.
To be fair, it’s not usually going to be black and white. It’s not like you either feel miserably or succeed flawlessly.
Usually, we tend to end up somewhere between the extremes and work to improve incrementally as time goes on.
We’re not perfect, but we are capable of more than we often give ourselves credit for.
I can think of countless things I’ve tried or done that turned out to be easier than I expected.
For example, some of you may be deathly afraid of public speaking. I’ve had the opportunity to speak in front of people a lot lately, especially in real estate.
I sponsor lunch at several offices around town and tell real estate agents the types of deals I’m looking for. I’ve spoken in front of as many as 60-70 people here in the last few weeks.
I jumped in front of the crowd at a recent real estate meetup to talk about a deal I had as I was looking for buyers.
You’ll find that the more you do something, the less frightening it becomes. You know what to expect, you have your pitch rehearsed.
What’s the worst that can happen, right?
In the meetup example, the worst that could happen was that there might not be anybody who wanted the deal I was pitching.
How about the best case scenario? I would find a buyer and make my profit margin.
To be completely honest, it didn’t end up how I wanted. I did meet some buyers who wanted other deals, but nobody really wanted the one I was pitching. Oh well. Like the Wayne Gretzky quote goes, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
So that’s my message for today… what is there to be afraid of? Dominate your day. Face your fears and overcome them.
The only fear you should have is the fear of regret
Many people experience massive regret on their deathbeds. I’ve talked to older people who envy many of the things I’ve done: skydiving, scuba diving in Thailand, hiking in California, etc. They say “I’m too old to do that now.”
That is so terribly sad to hear… I can honestly say that if I die tomorrow, I would go knowing that I literally lived my life to the fullest possible extent.
I hope that’s not the case, because there’s still so much I want to accomplish, see, and do, but you get the point.
Let this inspire you to take action today. There will always be fear – do it anyway.
Don’t let fear stop you from taking action.
Facing fear is much better than looking back at your deathbed and having a list of regrets. Take action today. Dream big. Do big.
Face your fears today
Think about a few things you’ve been wanting to do for awhile but haven’t due to fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of what others think.
Create that Facebook page, or YouTube channel, or blog. Start putting out content. Stay consistent.
Others may laugh or make rude comments about your little traction at first… let them. Keep your head down, let that negative energy fuel you and make you want to succeed EVEN MORE.
Luckily, I’ve never really dealt with “haters.” At least nobody has talked bad about me to my face…. But even if they did when I started my podcast, now the laughing has likely stopped… people now ask how I grew the podcast to 19K+ monthly downloads.
The answer is surprisingly simple… I stayed consistent. I kept going despite all odds. And that’s how I did it. No paid marketing, no social media influencer connections, none of that. Just good, ‘ol fashioned discipline and consistency.
The same can be done with anything else. Pick your craft and then commit to doing the work. The only fear I will allow you to have is the fear of regret. Be very afraid of living a mediocre life. You are capable of far more!
Go get it.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. – Mae West
What’s the secret to finding happiness? Are you happy? Not just right now, but like, truly content with life and where you are now?
Happiness is tough. We are emotional beings. There are ups and downs. But we all know people who seem to be happier more often than not. Alternatively, we also know those who complain about everything, no matter how much they have to be grateful for.
There’s this cool challenge I heard of when listening to a Ted Talk video called “365 give,” where the challenge is to give back in some way every single day. It can be something small like buying a meal for a homeless person or donating clothes.
There is something called the Helper’s High. Endorphins are released when we help others. So we can literally become happier by helping others. Cool, right?
Another way to find happiness is to start your day with gratitude… think of all the things no matter how small that you are grateful for. It’s hard to be in a bad mood after you realize how much you truly have. One mentor I follow on social media said to even be grateful for the things we take for granted most, like our hands, feet, and so on.
There’s a quote I love from Winston Churchill: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Keep that in mind as you go about your day.
Check out the video for more on this topic as well as the podcast episode.
There’s always a million things going on and the to-do list seems to grow longer by the second. With so many “urgent” and “important” things to do, it can be very difficult to say the word “no.” Maybe it’s a family member who wants you to drop him to the airport in rush hour traffic. Or perhaps it’s a boss who always tells you she needs something ASAP at 4:59pm on Friday as you’re about to drive out of town.
We tend to be people-pleasers. We often find it hard to say no to requests and find ourselves spending time or money on things we should have passed on. This is why I want to teach you how to say no.
Don’t be a “yes-man”
What is a yes-man? A yes-man (I guess you could also say yes-woman, to be fair) according to Merriam-Webster, is a person who agrees with everything that is said; especially : one who endorses or supports without criticism every opinion or proposal of an associate or superior. You might think that taking care of everything your boss wants done will make him or her happy, but being the go-to for every request will only make your situation worse.
When you say yes to every request thrown your way, you begin to take on too much. You start to waste time on things that really aren’t urgent OR important. One of the biggest kickers is that you might rush to finish a request and send it on to the next person. Then that person might sit on that information for several days before doing anything with it. In that scenario, you end up wasting all this time scrambling to do work just to have nothing happen. Can you think of a time or two that this happened? Are you a little annoyed remembering all the time you wasted? I’ve been there, too.
How to say no
When someone approaches you with an unreasonable request or even tries to sell you something you don’t really want or need, you need to be strong in your response. Don’t reply with “I can’t” or “I’m not sure.” Have a firm response like “I’m not interested in that product” or “I’m not able to help you with that.” This may be awkward at first, but I promise it gets easier and that it is extremely empowering.
When you say no to something that is going to waste your time or money, you are in the driver’s seat. You have full control of the situation. The people who are spending hours on things that are not adding value or have a bunch of junk in their garage that they were sold were unable to say no. They perhaps started with “I’m not sure” or “maybe later.” Then they were sold. They were pressured until they caved and said “sure, I can take care of that for you” or “okay, I’ll go ahead and buy that random mall kiosk toy that I’ll never use.”
When you cave in and take on something you know you don’t need or want, you’re stuck. It’s much harder to back out of something once you committed. But don’t be afraid to back out if you realize you need to. Tell someone you underestimated how long a task would take or that you’re really not able to take time away from your other priorities. Stress the limited time you have and that you can’t afford to let your priorities suffer by allowing distractions into your life.
So go out today and practice saying “no.” Get past the initial awkward feeling and you’ll be so happy you did. Your productivity will skyrocket when you stay focused on the things that really matter.