During this season in my life, I have been becoming more acquainted with the word ‘no’. As a self-diagnosed chronic people pleaser, this word is not one that often finds its way into my vocabulary. I have an incessant desire to serve and accommodate the people in my life.
With a full-time job, two freelance commitments, a sweet husband to love well, a beautiful group of friends that I love to spend time with and a full community of opportunities through our church my schedule just keeps filling up. I love the hustle and bustle, but there is a point where it becomes more of a burden and less of a blessing.
My desire to be the yes-woman stems from wanting to serve the people in my life well. I want to be there to support them, step alongside them in life and honor them. Sometimes, that desire gets warped as I take on responsibilities that I don’t have room for in my life.
Don’t get me wrong – serving others is not inherently a bad thing. We are called to use whatever gift we have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10).
But balance is an important part of every aspect of life. I cannot be my best self and produce the best outcomes if I’m spread too thin.
Saying no to some things allows me to say yes to the right things.
I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting and prayerfully considering what it means to say no. When is it appropriate? How do we separate the “no” situations from the ones that we should say “yes” to?
For me, it comes down to where my heart is and what is motivating me.
If I am saying yes out of obligation, guilt, fear of rejection or possible awkwardness in a relationship or because I want to prove something to myself or others – my heart is probably not in the right place.
Think of it this way – if you take on a task that you do not want to do, you do not feel prepared or motivated to accomplish, you might be taking that opportunity away from someone who is passionate, motivated and fully prepared to accomplish the task.
Not every opportunity is meant to be ours to take on.
I know that I am more successful, more invested and much more productive when I have a healthy, balanced schedule. That happens when I give myself the grace to say no to things that aren’t right for me.
If you’re struggling to say no to things in your life, I encourage you to pause, reflect on your motivations, spend time prayerfully considering the opportunity and remember that saying no is an option.