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 1087 days 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.
    Nanette ~ AMomBlog recently posted..$25 for $50 Worth of Flowers from Bloomers FloristMy Profile

  2. Jessica @FoundtheMarbles
    Jessica @FoundtheMarbles 1087 days 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.
    Jessica @FoundtheMarbles recently posted..The Pink Ribbon DebateMy Profile

  3. Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama
    Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama 1087 days 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! :)
    Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama recently posted..5 Quick Tips for Getting Started on eBayMy Profile

  4. Melanie Nelson
    Melanie Nelson 1087 days 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.
    Melanie Nelson recently posted..Save Big Bucks on Blog World Expo & New Media RegistrationMy Profile

  5. Dawn Sandomeno
    Dawn Sandomeno 1086 days ago .

    Good for you – saying “Yes” to everything, is effectively saying “No” to everything.
    Dawn Sandomeno recently posted..Sweet Sixteen Party Tips and IdeasMy Profile

  6. Jennifer Bullock
    Jennifer Bullock 1086 days 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.
    Jennifer Bullock recently posted..New and Improved Moon DoughMy Profile

  7. Mel
    Mel 1086 days 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.
    Mel recently posted..Goodbye and Good RiddanceMy Profile

  8. Rajean
    Rajean 1086 days 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!
    Rajean recently posted..Welcome Fall, I’ve Missed You – Wednesday WordsMy Profile

  9. melissa
    melissa 1086 days 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 1085 days 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.
    Becca Bernstein recently posted..Fall: The Best Time to Take PicturesMy Profile

  11. julia
    julia 1085 days 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!
    julia recently posted..Fate? Karma? Luck?My Profile

  12. jennyonthespot
    jennyonthespot 1084 days 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 1083 days 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.
    julie/just precious recently posted..Menu plan and adapting Real Simple’s 4 weeks of dinnersMy Profile