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[00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

This podcast is brought to you by PAR.

Use the FACT to help kids who are experiencing trauma. The FACT teacher form measures how stress and trauma impact students specifically at school leading to better interventions. Learn more at parinc.com\fact_teacher.

All right, y’all. Hey, welcome back to The Testing Psychologist. Today is a business episode talking about the importance of saying no. You’ve heard this before on this podcast, on other podcasts, in books, maybe even from your internal voice. You have to say [00:01:00] no to say yes, but it’s really hard, right?

I’ve run into another point in my life where this is hitting me in the face and I thought I give just one more touch point to help you maybe check in with yourself about your schedule, your commitments, your desires, and make sure that you are saying NO as much as you should be.

Before we get to the episode, I will invite you to check out The Testing Psychologist mastermind groups. These groups can help you say no and set boundaries where you need to. These are group coaching experiences. I facilitate each level of the group, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. You can connect with other psychologists, get some accountability, and reach some of those goals that you’ve had for your practice. You can get more info at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting.

All right. Let’s talk about saying no.

[00:02:00] Okay, y’all. Here we go. This is going to be a pretty short episode as most of the business episodes are these days. The idea is to help you check in with yourself and make sure that you’ve got the boundaries in your life that you need to have. This is a slippery slope in my experience, and it’s so easy to slide right back into people pleasing, saying yes, and getting diluted about your capabilities and what you enjoy. So that’s what this is about.

Everyone talks about setting up your schedule and what you say yes to, right? The opportunities are all out there. There’s so many opportunities for [00:03:00] us. I think this is present at any stage of practice development.

In the beginning, you want to say yes to everything because you want clients and you want to get your name out there and build a reputation, build your practice.

When you’re in the intermediate stage, you are likely still saying yes to many things that you probably shouldn’t be doing, like answering the phone, scheduling clients, doing paperwork, billing insurance, handling finances, and all that kind of stuff. You are saying yes to many things, many tasks, and some opportunities as well.

And then as your practice grows and becomes a group, the opportunity to say yes is so rampant. You can say yes to that new employee. Yes to that bigger office space. Yes to that new contract, whatever it might be, the opportunities for growth are there.

So there’s plenty of [00:04:00] chances to say yes at every stage of your practice. And everybody talks about that, like, yes, that’s a good thing. You want to bring opportunities. There’s an abundance mindset, so to speak. You want to move in that direction, do the work you want to do, and so forth.

As you engage in more activities, slowly dial in your life, and get it to the place that you’d like it to be, saying no gets to be way more important. I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase or the saying that saying yes to anything means you’re saying no to many more things that you don’t even know about. It’s like that game, The Price is Right. Y’all remember The Price is Right?

I used to watch The Price is Right all the time when I was growing up. Bob Barker was the host for a long time. Then it switched to Drew Carey, also a talented [00:05:00] individual. But I remember the classic Price is Right with Bob Barker.

A game or an activity that came on The Price is Right pretty frequently was choosing what’s behind door 1, door 2, or door 3. This is what it reminds me of. When you say yes to door 1, you have no idea what’s behind door 2, or door 3, but you can’t have them anymore. Sometimes you get lucky and door 1 has the vacation or the car, but most often it seemed like on The Price is Right, door 1 would have the toaster, and then doors 2 and 3 would have a car and a vacation or a new washer and dryer.

Anyway, long story to illustrate the point that when you say yes to something, it means you’re saying no to any number of other things you just don’t [00:06:00] know about. In the case of our practice, it could be family time, it could be leisure time, and it could be more meaningful work. But when you fill your calendar with yeses, just for the sake of saying yes, without deliberately thinking about whether it aligns with your values or what you want in your practice in your life, then you can get into trouble pretty quickly.

I know this because I am a chronic opportunity chaser is what I call it because I see the value in everything. It’s really hard for me, even at this point. I’m 13 to 14 years into practice, almost 10 years into relatively large group practice ownership, and I still have a hard time sussing out what are truly great opportunities and what are things that I’m just [00:07:00] saying yes to because I don’t want to disappoint someone or because I’m afraid that if I say no, then I’ll never get that opportunity again or any opportunity again for that matter, and any number of other reasons that I might say yes because it’s awkward to say no, who knows. There are all sorts of reasons to compel you to say yes that may not be the right reasons.

I hit the wall again recently, this seems to happen cyclically, it’s always over the summer it seems like. I’m not sure if that’s springtime and the weather warming up and feeling a touch overproductive or overexcited or optimistic, whatever it may be, but it seems to happen over the summer, but I recently hit the wall again where I put too many things on my schedule.

I said yes to an opportunity that [00:08:00] was a cool opportunity, it was a speaking arrangement, I got to the date, this was an engagement that was not on a topic of true interest for me, certainly in my wheelhouse, but not anything that I’m passionate about and the date crept up and crept up and I was occupied with any number of other tasks and engaging in things that were far more interesting to be honest, and more compelling and it got to the point that it was so bad that I had to two days ahead of time back out of the speaking engagement, which I have never ever done and was honestly, completely ashamed to have to do that simply because I got too overwhelmed with other things.

[00:09:00] This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. It made me step back and think about this hard and realize, okay, you pushed it again. So everybody’s heard this, but it bears repeating. If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s got to be a no.

Let’s take a break to hear from our featured partner.

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All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

The problem [00:10:00] with that is that many of us have trouble figuring out if something is indeed a hell Yes. To do that, I Engage in and like to lead others through a little bit of a body scan to determine whether an opportunity is a hell yes, or if it’s a no. And so I’ll lead us through this body scan just quickly. Don’t worry. This is not turning into a therapy session here on the podcast, but I want to give you the idea of this body scan and I think you’ll be able to pick it up pretty quickly so that you can give yourself an internal gauge of what an opportunity might be like.

So here’s what we do. I want you to think. If you’re driving, please exercise caution. Hopefully, you’re in a place where you can reflect in a more meaningful way. And [00:11:00] if not, come back to it.

Here’s what I’d like you to do. I’d like you to think about the most joyous moment that you can imagine. For me, this is that moment that I will always remember when I walk out of the place where we are staying the morning of our wedding and I see my wife for the first time the morning of our wedding and she just burst into this incredible smile and did a little skipping run thing toward me and gave me a hug. This is an amazing moment. Maybe some of you have had a similar moment. It’s also being on an awesome trail and hitting the zone while running. So maybe there are a few experiences that you’ve had, 1 or 2 joyous moments, right? [00:12:00] So think about that.

As you remember, as you flashback to this joyous moment, whatever that might be, scan your body and think about, touch into where are you feeling that joy in your body. Maybe it’s the stomach flip-flops. Maybe it’s that chest flutter. Maybe it’s like warmth, who knows? But take a second to just tap into it as you’re remembering this joyous moment in your life. Think about where you’re feeling that in your body. If you need to write that down, that’s great. Totally okay to write it down. If you can capture it in your mind just by feeling it, that’s great. But take some measures to remember what that feels like.

Now, I’d like to switch gears though. I want you to [00:13:00] do a little palate cleanser and shake your head. Whatever it takes. Clear your mind. Do a little reset. We’re going to flip the script.

I want you to remember a gross moment, whatever that might look like. It doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world, but a time when you were upset, sad, taken advantage of, you just felt bad, you were down. I want you to do the same thing. I want you to touch in and think about, re-think through, where do you feel that in your body? Maybe again, it’s residing in your stomach somewhere, maybe it’s in your chest, but think about where that shitty feeling lives in your body [00:14:00] when you went through that moment.  Again, if you need to write that down, that’s great; if you can remember just from the felt experience, also okay, but capture it somehow.

You’ve just hopefully anchored it into a really powerful piece of information, which is, that body sensation of two extremes, joy and whatever the opposite of joy is. You’ve got those guideposts now. So looking forward, if you’re making a decision and you don’t immediately get that joyous feeling, that’s okay, but it’s also a sign to check in and see what you are feeling, right?

Maybe it’s not that complete joy guidepost. Maybe it’s not that complete [00:15:00] dejection guidepost. Most things are going to fall somewhere in between, but now that you have those anchor points, you can use those when you’re considering a decision, an opportunity, or a commitment.

I’ll just invite you. I’ll give you permission to check in with yourself, to realize if you don’t get something close to that joyous feeling because remember if you say yes, it should be a Hell Yes. And Hell Yes is pretty close to joyous in my book. So if you’re not getting that, if you’re not pretty close to that, especially after a little bit of reflection, then I think you have your answer.

That leads us to this question of, how do you say no to something?

I’m going to keep it super simple. You can respectfully write back or get back to whoever, whatever it might be, [00:16:00] and you can simply say, thank you so much for that opportunity. I can’t commit to that right now. Take care. That’s it.

If you want to be a little more gracious or add a little bit to that, you can always say, I am so honored to be considered. I really appreciate the opportunity. I can’t commit to that right now.

If you truly do want to work together in the future, you can always say, I hope we might work together in the future, or I hope you might consider reaching out again for a similar opportunity. Don’t say that if it’s not true though. If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. Don’t say that you want to do it.

I’ll say it one more time. Thanks so much for considering me for this opportunity. I can’t commit to that right now. Take care.

All right. Just some thoughts on saying no, [00:17:00] the importance of no, again, like a lot of the material for the podcast born out of personal experience and working with my consulting clients and what they’re going through. I appreciate you listening. Thanks. Take care.

All right, y’all. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Always grateful to have you here. I hope that you take away some information that you can implement in your practice and your life. Any resources that we mentioned during the episode will be listed in the show notes, so make sure to check those out.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, I would be so grateful if you left a review on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

If you’re a practice owner or aspiring practice owner, I’d invite you to check out The Testing Psychologist mastermind groups. I have mastermind groups at every stage of practice development, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. We have homework, we have accountability, we have support, [00:18:00] we have resources. These groups are amazing. We do a lot of work and a lot of connecting. If that sounds interesting to you, you can check out the details at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting. You can sign up for a pre-group phone call and we will chat and figure out if a group could be a good fit for you. 

Thanks so much.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. [00:19:00] Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here, and similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast.

If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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