How to shed the shackles of feeling obligated


Do you often feel ‘obligated’ to fulfil a request, attend an event — or even accept a date?
Too often women are ridiculed or even mocked purely because they simply declined an event invitation, a date or even a request at work. Why? Because society has established a standard that suggests if you ask a woman for something she’ll say yes. This works to make us feel obligated, and make us feel guilty about saying no.
So how does a professional woman combat this?
Simple. Establish the brand of being someone who looks and acts like a woman but also believes wholeheartedly they are not obligated to anyone for anything.
In the business world it is competitive, and only the savvy survive all the way to the top. You can’t afford to be working for someone else’s agenda, picking up someone else’s slack, or taking in projects or help get others if it won’t serve a purpose on you getting ahead.
So here are some simple strategies on how to shed the shackles of feeling obligated in your professional life:

Get rid of the guilt 

Saying no to an activity that adds NO value to your journey towards serious success does not mean you are doing the wrong thing. Even if someone tries their hardest to make you feel guilty. Don’t. It’s the quickest way to fill up your life with inefficient activities.

Learn to postpone a response 

Another way we get caught up in being obligated — and then end up regretting the obligation or realising it wastes time — is because we don’t give ourselves enough thinking time. Never commit from an impulse. Use responses such as “I will have to check my diary and let you know” or “let me think about it and get back to you”. Buy yourself that time to consider whether the request is something you actually want to fulfil.

Make sure you have a plan

 It is very easy to fill up your day and week with stuff that will not bring a return on your investment (time) if you don’t have a plan for what you want to achieve. How do you know which decision to make if you don’t know where you’re headed?

Charge for your time

A very easy test to see whether someone truly values your time and/or advice: charge for it. If they decline, then you’ve saved yourself time that would have been spent serving someone else’s interests and not yours. Now remember … this is business so nothing should be for free. Even if cash doesn’t exchange hands, you need to be rewarded for your time, experience and expertise.

Ignore FOMO

The fear of missing out can lead you down a path of short-term gain for long-term pain. Just because everyone else is doing something, it doesn’t mean you should. The only way to get ahead is to spend your time as if you’re paying yourself the hourly rate you charge others. Also if you do attend activities, make sure you have a role to play, so you’re getting more out of it.

About Amanda Rose

Founder of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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