how to say no and why it makes your life better

Our lives are FULL of opportunities of things to do, places to go, people to see.  FULL of things to buy, parties to attend, invitations to weddings.  Organizations to join, activities to sign up for.  In fact everywhere we turn it seems, there is a demand upon our time and attention.  If you have kids multiply that.  By a lot. This can be a wonderful blessing, but trying to say yes to everything that comes our way quickly makes for an overwhelmed stressed out mama. I’m going to tell you how to say no and why it makes your life better.

At some point in all our lives, we realize there just simply isn’t enough time in our day or in our lives to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way.  Hopefully that realization comes sooner rather than later and on the easier side rather than harder.  But for a lot of us sadly, the reality check doesn’t come easily.  It comes after a lot of frustration, stress and maybe even tears.

But I just can’t say NO can I?  Um, yes you can.  After a little practice it becomes quite natural, and as I’ll show you saying no is actually saying yes to what’s most important to you and will make you more effective and productive. Saying no actually makes your life easier and more fulfilling. 

The first step in how to say no:

The first step to saying no begins with what you want to say yes to.  First you need to spend some time thinking and praying about what you want in life, what goals you are trying to accomplish and what God is calling you to.  When you know what you want to say yes to, it makes it so much easier to say no.

Take some time and consider your goals and priorities:

how to say no and why it makes your life better

So block out a little bit of time to think over what your goals and priorities are.  There is no one set way in life for everyone. 

  • 1. What are your goals?
  • 2. What are your priorities?
  • 3. What do you believe God is calling you to/main mission in life?
  • 4. What are your current life circumstances?
  • 5. What season of life are you in?
  • 6. Who are you?  Introvert vs. Extrovert? What are your personal boundaries?

The answers to these questions will shed a whole lot of light on what are the most important things in your life right now.  And where the majority of your time should be spent. 

The second step in how to say no:

The second step to saying no is lining up whatever opportunity that comes your way with the answers to these questions.  Ask yourself will this fit into my goals for life, am I able to add in another commitment during this season of life? Is this extra commitment going to be a strain on me and my family?  Do I really want to spend my time on it?  Is this opportunity something God wants me to sacrifice for even if it is seemingly inconvenient? Once you know what your goals, priorities, calling, life circumstances and season of life then it’s really easy to evaluate incoming requests.  

When you know where you headed, then you can easily make decisions on whether to to say yes or no to an incoming request.  

So how does saying no make my life better?

-Because you live a simpler life. 

-Because you aren’t stressed or overly busy with things that don’t add to your mission in life or that detract from your calling in life.

-Because you aren’t second guessing yourself wondering if you are doing what is best, and you can feel confident that you are making the most of the time you have in your current life circumstances and season of life. 

-You aren’t wasting your time comparing yourself to others, because you have a clear picture of what’s important in YOUR life. 

After you do the heavy lifting of figuring out your goals, priorities, calling and mission the easier work is actually just staying NO.  Sure it may takes some practice.  This may be more challenging if you are the people pleasing type.  It also helps to have a few creative ways to politely decline in your back pocket. Here are a few.

How to say no nicely:

Just do it. 

Just say no. 

“I’d love to but I can’t”. 

“That sounds like fun, but I’m not going to be able to go.”

“That sounds like an awesome opportunity, and I’d like to be a part of it, but right now I’m just not going to be able to.”

“I’m so honored that you would consider me, but I just can’t take on any more commitments.” 

Put some time in between the request and saying no.

This helps you really have time to consider whether God is calling you do the thing or if you are really going to be able to add it into your schedule, instead of making a spur of the moment decision that you regret committing to later on.

 “Let me check my calendar and I’ll get back to you.”

“Let me pray about that and I’ll get back to you next week.”

I think 95% of the time people respect and understand when we say no politely. Yes maybe they will be a little disappointed. That’s ok.  If they don’t understand that’s ok too.  You will know you made the right decision after spending time, consideration and prayer.  And you will know that your life will be a little better than had you just said yes to please someone on a whim even though it wasn’t the right fit or timing for your season of life.  You will be able to avoid the terrible feeling of regretting your decision and then having to back out of a situation, which is always a lot worse.

So I hope this was a helpful post and thought provoking and helpful in learning how to say no.

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how to say no and how it makes your life better

How about you?  What are some ways you say No to make your life better? I’d love to hear from you all.