Learning to say no is an ever-popular topic these days. In fact, I’ve read article after article on the importance of saying no. Don’t even schedule. Learn the polite ways to say no. Set your limits and don’t over promise.
I’ve been trying to implement this tactic myself… with work. With life. With my KIDS. It’s not always easy. In fact, I so often would over-schedule myself that it became a habit. So many times, I would say “yes” – confident that I could balance everything. I pack my schedule so tight that I’m constantly late. I’m constantly running. Until I can’t anymore. Then I crash. I crash hard. I get sick, I melt down, I start to cry. I drink copious amounts of wine. And then I start all over again. This never-ending cycle of “yes”.
As a mom (and as a woman) the first person I start to neglect is myself as I get busy. I convince myself it’s okay. I forget to eat. I stop working out. I miss sleep. I lack focus. I miss appointments. I forget things. My friendships suffer, my work suffers, I suffer. So… how do we say no? What can we set aside to find ourselves again?
I have found that saying no is a critical part of balance. I’m learning to make kids wait. I’m learning to carpool. I’m learning to own up and say “I can’t do that today – let’s reschedule.” It’s a constant learning experience (and I still forget things and double book myself and beg my friends for forgiveness). But it’s important to give yourself grace and keep trying. Keep saying no. Keep setting limits. This can mean no to schedules, to volunteering, to working overtime, to driving your kids everywhere.
But this is huge – and I mean HUGE! I had an epiphany and I want to share it with YOU. My friends, it’s okay to say no to people. People who bring you down. People who let you down. People who make you feel bad. I’m not saying ditch your friends (they deserve grace too). I’m saying that if you’re in situations that feel bad, or you’re constantly leaving interactions that feel bad – it’s okay to set limits. It’s okay to protect your time. It’s okay to let people go. It’s okay to say no. And if you question yourself at any time – I’m here to help you with a simple word – “no!”.
A good friend of mine posted a saying the other day “you can do anything, but not everything.” Take a moment now and think about what you do that feeds your soul. That brings you joy. Are you doing THAT? If your answer is no, then think about what you could say no to instead. If you didn’t volunteer for this, could you do THAT? I’m here to give you permission my friend – Feed your soul. Find your joy. Say no to anything else that gets in your way. You can do it; I believe in you. And I’ll be here practicing the word with you.