A few additional thoughts:
I know you know…
…that I know that you already know this.
But you and I also know that knowing and doing are very different things.
So, my first question for you is:
Do you know how to say “no”?
I actually collect ways of saying “no.” Having this pre-composed language handy enables me to expend less energy hacking through the guilt monsters before responding to each request.
Here are a few of my favorites:
:: Thanks for thinking of me! I’ll spare you all the current reasons-why-not… it’s a no for me this time. Sorry so short.
:: I thought about it, and it’s a very tempting idea. In order for me to take you up on it though, I’d have to back out of something else in my schedule that I’ve already committed to and I just can’t do that.
:: I’m going to take some time out to be alone right now. But not to worry, I’ll be back.
:: Unfortunately I don’t think I can help you to the extent (in the ways) that you want me to at this time.
:: I have a rule, if I don’t have time to see my mother, I don’t have time to meet new people for coffee. And right now, I owe my mom a visit… I’m sure we’d have a blast and I hope you’re not insulted, but my work schedule is packed and I have to pass.
My second question for you is:
When it comes to “no,” are you willing to actually say it?
Over the years, it has NOT become much easier for me to say “no,” but it HAS become easier to make myself say it.
That’s because, over the years, I have become more resolutely protective of my passions, my purpose, and my plans.
The dreams I am aiming for are so important to me, so beneficial to the world, and so much fun, that I really want to achieve them!
Having a clear focus and a strategic plan of action are what give me (as they will give you) the resolve to say “no” to some things (as well as the enthusiasm to say a big, fat “YES” to others).