Do you want to learn to say no without being rude, feeling guilty or like you don’t have to explain yourself? Let me show you how I’m learning to say no to the good so I can say yes to the best!

(Need more encouragement and inspiration? Check out my be inspired posts here.)

two women sitting at a table

I had received an invitation to an event but had no desire to go. It was the type of invitation where you feel highly obligated to go but desperately hope you already have something scheduled on your calendar. (Sigh! Please tell me you’ve had the same dilemma!) 

After giving the situation quite a bit of thought, I decided to decline the invitation since it wasn’t something that I would enjoy.

These tips have helped me know when to say yes or no (with confidence) and I know they will help you too!

Is it okay to say no?

I used to feel like a failure when I had to tell people no but now I’m realizing that’s not the case at all. It’s taken me time to realize that I don’t have to (and can’t) do everything, and I’m learning that it’s okay to say no.

woman blowing a dandelion

The importance of learning to say no.

Do you ever feel like you need to be everything to everyone and say yes every time you’re asked to do something? It’s mentally exhausting isn’t it?!

No is a word that our society doesn’t like to say. We flippantly say yes to everything without thinking of the huge impact these two little letters can make in our life.

Are you saying yes only out of obligation?

We don’t want to let people down…I get it. But saying yes only out of obligation is no way to live. 

I don’t know about you but the words from Crystal Paine’s book, Say Goodbye To Survival Mode, ring true to my heart.

“Stop letting people manipulate you into a miserable existence. Stop doing things because you feel obligated to do them. Stop doing things because you’re afraid of what people might think of you if you don’t do them. Stop over-committing yourself.”

Before you say yes, decide whether you’re doing it out of obligation or because it’s something you’ll truly enjoy. 

Why you should learn to say no.

When you learn to say no to extra commitments that drain you and aren’t life giving to you not only will your schedule free up and you’ll feel less overloaded but you’ll become less frazzled and a much healthier version of yourself. 

I love these two quotes:

“Saying yes to the best means focusing and streamlining your time, energy and efforts on what matters most at the time.” – Crystal Paine, Say Goodbye To Survival Mode

“Saying yes all the time won’t make me Wonder Woman. It will make me a worn-out woman.” – Lysa Terkeurst, The Best Yes

Learn to say no without feeling guilty.

After saying no to the event invitation I patted myself on the back because I was so proud of myself. 

But shortly afterwards I started to feel guilty and self-doubt crowded my mind. 

  • Am I a loser for not attending? 
  • Will I be letting the other attendees down? 
  • Why can’t I be more like ________?

Just as quickly as the self-doubt came the Lord spoke truth into my heart and reminded me of my pastor’s words, “Sometimes you have to say no to the good so you can say yes to the best.”

Give It Time

As you begin to say no more frequently the feeling of guilt will lessen. Yes, it will be awkward and hard at first but give it time and it will become easier.

When I learned the four questions to ask myself before saying yes it was a major game changer for me.

two women talking

How do you say no nicely and without being rude?

As you begin to say no keeping in mind that you can’t do everything and be everything to everyone you’ll free yourself up.

Lysa Terkeurst says it beautifully, “Just remember not every responsibility can be your responsibility.” 

Here are a few ways to graciously say no that I learned from Lysa’s book, The Best Yes (it’s an excellent read).

  • While my heart wants to say yes, the reality of my time makes this a no.
  • I’m sorry but I can’t give it the attention it deserves.
  • While I would love to get together for _________ my previous commitments with _______ make this one of those seasons when I must decline lovely invitations. Thank you for thinking of me. Knowing you’d want to get together is an encouraging gift.

Each “yes” or “no” situation is going to be unique so I want to encourage you to learn the four questions to ask yourself before saying yes.

Remind yourself that you’ll have to say no to a few good things so you can say yes to the best things!

Are you learning how to say no? What tips can you share that will help the rest of us on the journey to saying yes to the best?


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