When someone has a request for you — a boss with a new project, a friend who needs help moving — how often are you saying yes before thinking through if it’s something you want to actually take on? Further, how likely are you to say yes to something when you really want to say no?
If you feel the pressure to say yes all of the time, there’s a chance you’re living with a level of approval addiction. You want to be liked, or at the very least, you don’t want to be rejected or misunderstood. You’re constantly available to help, generous with your resources, and are rarely seen without a smile on yourself. People come to you for advice because you’re the ultimate giver. But here’s the thing about generosity: the more you give, the more it takes out of you. And soon, you’re overworked, exhausted, and not staying committed to your mission.
Approval addiction is one of the six core vulnerabilities I mention in my book, It’s About Time. The beauty of wanting to be liked? You’re often agreeable, empathetic, and willing to go the extra mile without being asked. You’re the glue person at the company, and people really mean it when they say, where would we be without you?
But just as mentioned in the book, our greatest strengths can prove to be our most powerful weaknesses.
The issue with approval addiction is saying no makes you anxious, because you have a fear of being rejected or not being liked. It’s this anxiety that ultimately leads to poor time management, avoidant behaviors at home and work, and a life fueled by fear. And that lifestyle isn’t sustainable or fulfilling.
The remedy? Learning to say no — saying it early, often, and with confidence. You may believe no closes door, but in reality, it is what will free you from your fears and anxieties around rejection. No is a powerful word but only if you use it.
In today’s video, I want us to dive deeper into how “no” can transform your day-to-day life and the baby steps you can take today if the word is foreign to your vocabulary.