Learn To Say No So You Can Say Yes

Learn To Say No So You Can Say Yes

Our lives are busy. We have so many commitments.

We’re committed to our church. We’re committed to our work. We’re committed to our family. We’re committed to friends. We’re committed to people we don’t even know sometimes!

These commitments are all things we’ve said yes to. There’s a problem with that.

When we say yes to everything that comes our way, we’re saying NO to a lot of other things.

For example:

You commit to spending all day Sunday, part of your day Wednesday, and various other days of the week at church. You were asked so you said yes.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with helping at church. In fact, it’s something we should all do.

However, when we begin to over-commit we begin saying NO to other important facets of life.

We say no to giving our spouse attention. We say no to spending time with our sons. We say no to our friends who we’ve neglected.

Maybe you’re not a church-goer but you’re committed to your work. The same applies here.

You agree to work late Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because you were asked.

No big deal, you thought.

Then you realize your son has his varsity football game on Friday nights. Oh! And on Wednesday you wanted to go to the home improvement class at your local Lowes store. And, you didn’t remember, Monday nights were going to be date nights with your beautiful wife.

Ouch! Can you see how those well-meaning yeses made you say no to some very important aspects of your life?

We do this all the time and don’t realize it. We give up the important for some urgent matter that takes our time. We say yes only to say no to something else.

You Can Stop This

Don’t fret young man! You don’t have to get caught in this trap of yes, no, yes, no.

You know that this is a trap we all fall into now. You can stop this!


Realize you’re not Superman: Did you ever read the Superman comic books growing up? It seemed Superman was where ever he was needed. He showed up in the blink of an eye!

He could do this, after all. He’s Superman.

You’re not. You don’t have the ability to quickly zoom between places. It takes time and you only have a limited amount of time.

Stop trying to be Superman. Be you and be present where you’re most needed.

Realize you’re not the only one that can do the job: We’ve all fallen into this lie. We think we’re the only one for the job. No one else can do it, at least not as well as YOU can.

But that’s not the truth. If you step down or away, someone else will step up to fill your position.

They’ll have time to volunteer at church or to work the late hours.

You can say no because someone else will be there.

Realize you have limited time: I believe this is the one that gets us all. We’ll gladly budget our money. The money will magically (yeah right) disappear when we don’t watch it.

We place a huge value on money but rarely do we think of the value of our time.

Have you thought about time? Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t get back the time that has already past. It’s done and gone.

Realize your time is limited and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

All this to get to the point that we have to learn to say no to many things in life. That request from your boss, be willing to say “Sorry boss, I have prior commitments to my family. The urge to volunteer more at the church? You can say “Sorry guys, I love God and love to serve Him but I also have commitments at home that I need to say YES to.”

When you begin taking a pro-active approach to managing your time, you’ll begin to find yourself spending time more wisely.

Question: What do you need to say NO to more often? What’s holding you back? Let’s talk about it in the comment section below.

This is a guest post by Joseph Lalonde. He is a former youth leader and leadership blogger at JMLalonde.com. Joseph shares leadership tools and encourages you to become a better leader. With him on twitter or at his blog. Joseph also has a free eBook that you can own by clicking here.

Photo Credit: Henry Burrows

Steve Spring

Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help others transform their health, minds, and relationships. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends and helping others live their life on purpose.

  • David Mike says:

    Guilty of “Yes”

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