How To Say No & Mean It

How To Say No & Mean It

I read this fascinating study recently on how to be more effective in setting boundaries for yourself. The results were clear, startling, and super easy to do in your ordinary life so I had to share them with you.

Let’s say that you want to begin your new year early and start working out regularly. Multiple studies show that if you use the word don’t you are EIGHT TIMES more likely to succeed in your plan than if you use the word can’t.

Imagine this in action: you would say to yourself, “I don’t miss workout days” instead of saying “I can’t miss workout days.”

It turns out that how to say no effectively depends on how you phrase it. Psychologist hypothesize that saying I don’t is experienced as a choice and thus is an empowering way to say no. I can’t feels more like a restriction that is being imposed on you and, if you have any rebellious side to you, you’ll show that “can’t” whose boss – right?

Easy to apply – right? When setting boundaries or goals for yourself, frame your new mindset in terms of what you don’t do and not in terms of what you can’t do.

Give it a try and comment below with what you find…. 

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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