Hard Choices And Saying No

I have such a hard time saying no. (Can anyone relate?)

I say yes because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I say yes because I want to help people. I say yes because it is in my nature. I say yes because WORLD DOMINATION is part of my master plan. (Natch.) I say yes because I don’t want to disappoint.

I say yes because I don’t realize THE IMPACT that being over committed is going to have on me and my family.

To be perfectly honest, there are many, many times I that I end up regretting that yes. 

Which is why lately, I’ve been making some hard choices. Passing up on once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Turning down requests. In short, trying to streamline my life and my family’s life into something more manageable and less stressful for us.


Image via baneofyourresistance.wordpress.com

I shouldn’t wake up in a cold sweat at 5:15 every morning feeling like I’m running behind. It is just not healthy. And it is making me a very grumpy, tired and uninspired girl. (Not to mention mommy, friend, wife, sister, daughter.)

But it is SO VERY HARD to say no.


Interestingly enough, I found an article today written by the Mayo Clinic that talks about this very issue. In it they assert that:

  • Saying no isn’t necessarily selfish – When you say no to a new commitment, you’re essentially honoring your existing obligations and ensuring that you’ll be able to devote quality time to them.
  • Saying no can allow you to try new things – Just because you’ve always helped plan the company softball tournament  or school charity function doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing it forever. Saying no gives you time to pursue other interests.
  • Always saying yes isn’t healthy – When you’re overcommitted and under too much stress, you’re more likely to feel run-down and possibly get sick.

Powerful way of thinking, isn’t it?

And a no for now is not always a no forever, right?

So what about you? Do you have a hard time saying no? Are you overcommitted? How do you manage it all?

13 Responses to "Hard Choices And Saying No"

  1. Nanette ~ AMomBlog
    Nanette ~ AMomBlog 4 years ago .

    Yes, I have a hard time saying no. But I have seen what always saying yes has done. Sometimes it gets to the point that I feel I’m cheating my kids of mommy time. I don’t want to look back and know that I missed all those years when they were little. I can’t get those years back. I can’t get that time back so yes sometimes you have to pass on those once in a lifetime opportunities so you don’t miss out on the more important ones like your children’s childhood.

  2. Jessica @FoundtheMarbles
    Jessica @FoundtheMarbles 4 years ago .

    I am going through this very issue right now. This weekend I have to take a long, hard look at everything to which I am committed and see where I can cut back because I am no good to anyone if I can’t keep my head above water.

    Good for you. I believe that you will know when you absolutely must say YES.

  3. Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama
    Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama 4 years ago .

    I know what you mean! I say yes far too often and only recently have I begun to say no to projects that aren’t a good fit, opportunities that take me away from my family too much, and to the endless requests to volunteer for everything under the sun at my kids’ school. I’ve realized it’s ok to say no. Others can benefit from the opportunities I’m turning down and there are others out there who will step and volunteer but sometimes my hand gets twitchy and I want to raise it before I remember it’s best to sit on it or type no instead of yes.

    Good for you for taking this step! I know exactly how hard it is and am here for you! :)

  4. Melanie Nelson
    Melanie Nelson 4 years ago .

    I have that same issue! I’ve tried giving myself permissions to say no — sometimes I can do it and sometimes I can’t. ;) I’m working on it. You make excellent points. Saying no is actually honoring your current commitments…so true.

    Everything just sounds SO FUN! And I can be SO HELPFUL! And I KNOW HOW so I should step up! Gotta remind myself to give someone else the chance and run my own race. Thanks for this post.

  5. Dawn Sandomeno
    Dawn Sandomeno 4 years ago .

    Good for you – saying “Yes” to everything, is effectively saying “No” to everything.

  6. Jennifer Bullock
    Jennifer Bullock 4 years ago .

    I definitely have the same issue. I get over-committed because I want to be able to help everyone out, but in the long run I’m hurting me. Lately, I’ve been having to practice and get used to saying no, I can’t save the world, and certain things in my life need to take priority, especially when I find myself at the bottom of that list.

    Thanks for reminding us of the good things “no” brings.

  7. Mel
    Mel 4 years ago .

    Guilty as charged! I really need to work on this. Especially lately as I’ve been feel so overwhelmed. I agree that saying no is saying yes, to the obligations you already have and is definitely not selfish. Thanks for a great lesson today.

  8. Rajean
    Rajean 4 years ago .

    Great lessons & reminders here. I feel by saying yes to everything we weaken the commitments we’ve already made because we are taking time and energy away from them. For me, it’s more about prioritization, which is why I love the line you write:
    ‘And a no for now is not always a no forever, right?’
    Yes! I mean, no. I mean, I agree!

  9. melissa
    melissa 4 years ago .

    yes! i mean, no. i mean…sigh. i hate saying no for some things, especially if it’s beneficial. but then i find that i’m WAY too overcommitted and i end up sitting and staring into space, overwhelmed and frustrated.
    i love that last line…no is for now, not forever!! perfect!!

  10. Becca Bernstein
    Becca Bernstein 4 years ago .

    I completely understand. It’s so hard to say No. My husband and I both have this problem! And we’ve spent many a weekend, making good on our commitments and as a result, missing out on family time. Saying no, when appropriate, has been one of our goals.

  11. julia
    julia 4 years ago .

    this happens to me a lot. i say yes b/c i don’t want to disappoint. and after all, if someone thinks i’ll be good at it, then I want to take them up on the offer and prove them right!

  12. jennyonthespot
    jennyonthespot 4 years ago .

    TOTALLY agree. I am experiencing the same thing. I heard one speaker share (at Blissdom?) that has really helped my decision making… “Choose discomfort over resentment.” It’s hard to say no… it’s uncomfortable… but that moment of difficulty can save many more moments of regret and resentment. Sure, “once in a lifetime” opportunities do come along… but I challenge myself with that thought. Is it really once? I think as we free up our time, it helps us see things more clearly and have better instincts about these opps. I feel they are not that great when the price tag in the long run is so high.

    It’s hard to say no, and to pass up great things. But passing up opens time for even greater things. And can you send this comment to me please. I need to be reminded everyday. xoxo :)

  13. julie/just precious
    julie/just precious 4 years ago .

    I’ve had to take enormous steps to learn to say no and to put my family and ME ahead of the “yes” button. Still working on it.