Learn to Say No to Create More Time to Study For Your Firefighter Promotional Exam

Saying no is not easy for everyone. As you begin working on your firefighter promotional exam prep, you may need to say no more often to allow yourself enough time to study. Here are some tips to help you say no more, so you can study more. 

Tips For Saying No So You Can Study More

  1. Be Honest

The best way to say no for all the people pleasers out there is just being honest. Tell those in your life you are prioritizing studying for your firefighter promotional exam and may be unable to commit to as many things as you normally do. You can even tell them this before you have to say no just to prepare them for the change that may be coming their way. This way no one is surprised when you say no to the usual hangouts more often than usual or aren’t as flexible with picking up shifts around the station and so on. In addition, you may gain a few supporters along the way if you share that you are focusing on your firefighter promotional exam. 

  1. Remember Others Feelings Are Not Yours To Hold

A big part of why saying no is so difficult for some people is because you don’t want to let other people down or make them feel any sort of negative way. You have to remember the only person's feelings and emotions you are responsible for are your own. If someone gets angry or disappointed after you tell them no to something because you need to study, that is their problem not yours, or for any reason for that matter. As you go through this tough journey of promotion in the fire service you want to surround yourself with people who want to support you anyways. 

  1. Acknowledge Others Disrespectful Behavior

Sometimes when you tell someone no you will be faced with people who will guilt you, try to haggle with you and so on. If you are someone who always says yes you may be faced with this conundrum even more frequently because you may be catching your friends, co-workers, family etc. off guard. If someone you are saying no to is being pushy, point it out. You may feel like it is rude or difficult to do, but they obviously have no problem pushing you, so push back. Say something like, “I see you really want my help with this but I have said I cannot do it and I cannot do it, so please stop asking.” Or try, “I see you are not going to give up on this request, but I am” and walk away. You can even say, “I am learning to say no more and this is one of those times.” Remember, no is in fact a complete sentence. So if people try to guilt you or convince you to turn your no into a yes, simply say no again and change the subject, walk away, or say “end of conversation”. Give them the respect that they are giving to you. 

  1. It Gets Easier The More You Do It So Practice

As you progress from a yes person to a person with more balance who can prioritize career and studies, it will get easier. The more you say no and accept that it is okay to do so the easier it will get. Don’t be afraid to practice even. Start small and work your way up, you can even ask your friends and family for their help so you can give some easy no’s.  It may be really challenging at first but challenges are a good thing. You are building character and at the end of it all, after you take your firefighter promotional exam, you may not have any more issues saying no to people. Being able to say no will make your life so much less stressful because you will not always have a full schedule of things to do that you don’t even want to do in the first place. The benefits to your mental health will be very obvious. 

  1. Get The FOMO Feels Out Now

Some things you may be saying no to may be things you really want to say yes to which makes saying no that much harder. So you must accept before your promotional journey begins that you will be disappointed, you will miss out on things you may want to do. Allow yourself space to feel that. Also as you begin to say no more, people may begin to ask you to do things less. This is just a natural consequence, so it is so important to remember why you are doing this in the first place. To prioritize your studying so you can get promoted in the fire service and focus on your career. 

The Takeaway

You are human, you can only do so much. Once you sign up to promote in the fire service you need to make that a priority which means you will have to say no more than you used to. Saying no will be crucial for your mental health, to make sure you don’t get burnout during the promotion process. Saying no and prioritizing yourself may be hard in the beginning, but the more you do it the easier it will become and the more freedom you will have.