When You Just Need To Say NO
This post is Day 24 in the 31 Days to a Super-Purposeful Schedule series.
My husband and one of his best friends have a running joke that we hear a lot around here. Whenever one of them has a request or an idea about something, the other one will just cut him off and say, "NOPE!" It's so random and unexpected to hear that I just have to laugh or roll my eyes.
But honestly, how great would that be if anytime you really wanted to say no, you could just simply say it: "Nope."
No thinking up excuses. No going back and forth about what anyone will think. Not worrying about what we might be missing out on. No shifting schedules to see what more we can cram in. Just a simple, "Nope."
If you're like me, I'm sure it wouldn't take long to think of one thing you wish you would've said no to this week. We tell ourselves it'll be no big deal. It won't take THAT much time and energy.
But deep down, we know the truth: We should have said no.
I think the hardest part of turning things down is that we have really good intentions most of the time. It's nice to be willing and helpful. If it's in our power to do something, we can't see any good reason why we shouldn't. But saying yes to everything can actually force us to say no to what matters most.
So here are a few questions to ask yourself when you might need to say no...
4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Say Yes
1 | Can it wait?
Is this something you absolutely have to do right away. Is it going to make or break you if you decide to say no? Can it be rescheduled? Should it wait for another season of life?
I've been putting this into practice a lot with my to-do lists. I like to give things a due date in Asana so that I remember to get to them. But then seeing too many things on my plate can get overwhelming. So in busy times, I simply go through the calendar and reschedule the less important tasks. No one gets hurt:)
2 | What am I paying for it?
What's the cost - not just in terms of money but in terms of importance too. Are you paying for it by missing out on time with your kids? Is it costing you sleep? A peaceful home? Is this wise to take on, or is it actually making you pay more than it's worth?
There are so many times when I think I can do it all, but then my stress level tells me differently. I see myself feeling a little bit more irritable than usual. I start to get headaches. I forget to make life fun. I have to remind myself the cost of taking on that extra little bit.
3 | Am I the best person for the job?
Does it have to be you who does this job? Is there anyone else who might be more skilled or just more willing? Is there a way to get others involved and take some of the weight off your shoulders?
This one is tough. I can sometimes think that it's so much more efficient to just do everything myself. Or I assume that just because I'm willing that I'm the right person for the job. But I might actually be cheating someone else out of an opportunity to help.
4 | What's the worst that can happen if I don't?
Are someone's feelings really going to be hurt? Am I really going to miss out on an opportunity? Is the whole thing going to come crashing down if I have to skip this project?
I love how Ann Voskamp says, "Life is not an emergency." It really isn't. But sometimes our emotions get the best of us and we stress out and think, "I have to!" The truth is not everything is urgent. Not everything is an essential. Not everyone has to understand your decisions. It'll probably be okay.
Today's Action Step:
Choose one thing to politely decline, avoid or reschedule. Practice until you get really comfortable saying no. You can do the obnoxious, "Nope!" or just text: #nope. Or take a stand and hang #nope on the wall to remind you:)