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28. It's Okay to Say No

Before the COVID pandemic, I agreed to participate in a specific project. As things settled, it was time to reevaluate the initiative.

Everyone’s schedules and priorities had changed. For some, the project became more important, but for me, it remained a relatively low priority initiative. I was asked if I’d be interested in taking on a more prominent role. Much to their disappointment, I declined.

I felt bad, but it was also the right thing to do. The change in circumstances was not my fault. I had made it clear upfront what role I was willing to play.

As a people-pleaser, in a prior life, I would have taken on the additional work, resented the project and the relationships, and would have been forced to downgrade the importance of alternative commitments.

It’s okay to say no. And although it doesn’t make it any easier, being polite, honest, and transparent can help maintain the relationship.


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