Success* is often built on a reflexive habit of saying “yes” to opportunities that come our way. We’re hungry for any chance to prove ourselves, and when we’re presented with one, we take it, even—or especially—if it seems daunting. (A lesson I learned years ago was to say yes to opportunities that made me feel nervous because the anxiety was a sign that I’d learn something useful.) We may also tend to say “yes” out of a fear that turning down an opportunity even once sends a message that we’re not interested, and we’ll stop getting additional chances in the future

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Learning to Say “No” Is Part of Success

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