Learning to Say No

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”
Last month I jumped out on a limb and wrote a post about my faith and things I personally struggled with. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, and nothing made me happier than responding to e-mails from girls that dealt with the same issue. So I think every now and then I’ll throw in a few personal posts, just to see if they help you all! 
Last month I went in depth about my issues with people pleasing and how it only drew me farther from God. Since that post, I have been trying extremely hard to say yes, less. There were a few opportunities that had come my way for the blog and I knew in my heart it wasn’t worth it. It was an immense amount of work on my end, for little to no benefit and at the end of the day, y’all would have come to my blog and thought, “Why on earth is she writing about that? Did she drink way too much champagne and decide to get online?” It wasn’t that the brand or companies were bad, at all. They were great. It just wouldn’t have fit for this blog and for you all. 
Throughout that experience, I found a few tricks on learning to say no. I recognized from my last post that I needed to say no, so I wanted to follow up on how to do it! Learning ways to say yes, less is the perfect catalyst for learning to say no. 
Ways to say yes, less:

1. Don’t Say Yes For The Wrong Reasons. 

Maxie wrote an amazing post on the reasons you shouldn’t say yes. I wanted to share it with you all because when I was reading this, I was stunned. I think guilt is the reason girls take on commitments most of the time. This can be applicable in college and sorority life so, so much. I remember sitting in chapter meetings my first few semesters thinking, “Oh! I have to sign up for that! I know I need to study and have a project, but the girl heading it is so nice to me. I would feel guilty.” By my junior year I only said yes to volunteering and committees I was truly passionate about [hello, recruitment and DHOP]. This wasn’t to say I didn’t do what was required of me, but if it is an option [a booth by the library, etc], and you aren’t doing it because you want to, you won’t put your best effort forward. 

2. Don’t Say Yes Too Quickly.

Who else is addicted to responding quickly?! I literally say yes, before reading something all the way through because I get so excited to please someone. Mean Girls had word vomit, but I’ve got text/e-mail vomit. I’ll say yes without even thinking. One of my best friends, Emily, is great at this. She doesn’t respond to anything asked of her until a few hours later. We all joke we don’t know where she is, but she is just so genuine! If I ask her for a favor she will think it through, and then respond after she has already planned out how to schedule it through. It makes the process so much easier for everyone. So now when I check my e-mails before bed, I sleep on a decision for a day or two, that way I’m not saying, “yes” just to please.

3. Have 3 Non-Negotiables.

As much as we try, we can’t fully control our schedules in life. There were weeks of my life this summer that I would think, “I didn’t do one single thing I chose to do.” It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy my work or commitments, but life can feel like a string of places you have to be at. Create 3 non-negotiables to fill your schedule and don’t plan anything during them. For me, I have Bible Study, Pure Barre and dinner with my family and Paul. I’m sure I sounded ridiculous to a company last week when I told them, “I’m really sorry but I have to meet with you earlier because I have Bible Study that evening.” But it didn’t sound ridiculous to me at all, and your schedule is what controls your sanity. 
Do you have any tips for learning how to say yes less?! 

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  1. Love this. Always love your posts!

    Published 25 Sep 14Reply
  2. Suzy Smith wrote:

    These are really great tips and I’m glad I read this today. I am really really bad about saying yes because I feel guilty. Like you said, the person is your friend or someone you love and you don’t want to disappoint them. Lately I’ve been really overcommitting myself and at the end of the day or week, I’ll say to myself, “I didn’t do any of the things I wanted to do.” I’m going to use your tip on making 3 non-negotiables and see if that helps! Also, I really like the phrase “Say yes, less.” This is going up on my inspiration board for sure!

    Thanks for writing this post! I am really looking forward to reading more like these!

    Published 25 Sep 14Reply
  3. My husband has absolutely no problem saying no when he doesn’t want to do something and what I’ve noticed is people still like him and include him. I am learning from that, it still makes me feel guilty to say no but it does get easier. People respect it as long as they know you aren’t doing it to be contrary and if they are genuine and not using you.

    Published 25 Sep 14Reply
  4. Hill wrote:

    I love the idea of having 3 non-negotiables, that way you’re still open to new opportunities but you don’t have to compromise on the things you already value and love!

    Hill @ From Mississippi With Love

    Published 25 Sep 14Reply
  5. I tried to comment but I don’t know if it went through. But YES YES YES to this post! 😀 I wrote a post about this very thing a few weeks back on Learning to say no. Once I said no I felt this immediate weight lift off of me. I think it definitely takes some practice learning the ‘art’ of turning down work/opportunities but I have found that having strong conviction and ‘hard stops’ as I call them, (kinda like non-negotiables) really helps! 😀 Thanks for sharing!
    Lauren M
    Make it a Double

    Published 25 Sep 14Reply
  6. I love this post! I have felt really over committed lately, and I haven’t had the time to do things that I actually enjoy (like blog and get 8 hours of sleep every night.) I have really been re-evaluating the organizations that I’m involved in and trying to decide if I should continue involvement. Good for you for making Bible study a priority! I need to make my devotional a much bigger priority.

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

    Published 26 Sep 14Reply
  7. More of these posts, PLEASE! Love them! Thank you for sharing.

    Published 30 Sep 14Reply