Your success depends on your ability to recognise opportunities that are aligned with your goals. To take action, to take a risk and fail forward and to continuously learn and grow from setbacks. Saying YES to opportunities is vital for growth and success and high achievers are always jumping into the deep end and and learning to swim later. Speak first and think later. But that is only with people and circumstances that are aligned with our goals and values. On the contrary, success also depends on your ability to recognise distractions and to stay on track, true to yourself, your life style and your goals. Not because you don't value other people's requests, protests, offers and demands, but because you have your own goals and agenda and you value yourself enough to stay true to your own plans. If we do not learn to say NO to distractions that have nothing to do with our goals then we can very quickly become overwhelmed with requests to do things for other people, attending too many social functions, eating the wrong food, joining ideas, groups and people we derive no value from, get involved in defending view points or being involved in arguments that bring no joy in life, and helping people who cannot be helped. All these things do not only waste our time and money, but also lead to long term unhappiness and jeopardise our success in life. Saying NO to things that no longer serve us, grow us or make us happy is saying YES to and making room for the people and circumstances that we are perfectly aligned with. Here are 3 key principles to stay focused and to learn to say NO to distractions. Value Your Time You can never be a good business leader, coach, parent or worker if you do not put yourself as the number one priority in your life. If you put yourself first in your own life and are focused on your own goals, your NO to distractions becomes a powerful drive towards designing the life you want to design. The more self esteem you develop, the more you like and value yourself, the easier it is to say NO to anything that does not fit your purpose and the less co-dependent you will be on any reaction thrown at you by other people in response to saying NO. The reason we sometimes get into things that are not aligned with our goals is fear, co-dependency and lack of purpose. We fear that we may miss out on something if we give up an opportunity. This could be true and the only way to know whether an opportunity will grow us or distract us is to have a definite purpose and plan in place. We also fear offending or hurting people by saying NO, however as we become more aware we are able to handle other people's reactions better and are no longer at the effect of them. Be Emotionally Resilient. Emotional resilience enables you to be interdependent and not co-dependent on the response of other people. It does not mean that you do not care about people, it means that you can handle situations without enrolling in their drama. It means that you can put yourself first, be true to your own goals and allow others to respond in whatever way works best for them.