Intentional Living: Saying NO more and YES less

for everything you say NO to,
you say YES to something else

Each day we are bombarded with requests from family, employers, and friends. Many of these requests are for great things but just because they are good, doesn’t mean you have to or need to say “yes”.

The multitasking society we live in, that tells us that hurry and busyness are necessary for self-worth and self-esteem, can make you feel as though you are wrong if you say “no” or wrong if you choose to minimize the frantic pace of life.

Even though you may think you can’t say “no” or it feels really uncomfortable to say “no” to your mom, your friend, your colleague, or your child, the truth is that the earth will not stop spinning and the world of those around us will not crumble should we work up the courage to say “no” and put ourselves, our mental health, our families, our lives first.

Here are some ways to become a person that can utter the “no” word.
And remember, all good things in life are a work in progress – be easy on yourself. Change takes time.

*First, ask yourself – why am I saying “yes” to something I’d really like to say “no” to?

Are you fearful of losing someone’s respect, friendship, or resources if you don’t agree to a request or that you’ll make the other person angry? Or would you simply feel like a failure or a bad person if you said “no”?

*Once you’ve determined why you think you can’t say “no,” evaluate the truth of that statement.
Would the person asking a favor of you really be angry with you or cease to like you if you graciously declined? If this is a person worth knowing, he or she will understand. Does saying “no” mean you are an unhelpful person or does this actually mean that you being smart and proactive by taking care of yourself? When you avoid burnout, you are ensuring you can really be there for others when it counts.

*Create a new statement to replace the old one.
Instead of beating yourself up by saying, “I have to say ‘yes’ or else I’m a crappy person,” you could tell yourself, “By saying ‘no’ I am making smart choices and setting necessary boundaries so I can invest my time and energy wisely.”

Finally, think about what’s really important to you and where you want to devote yourself.
Life is short, be intentional with how you spend your time and don’t feel guilty for saying “no”.


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